Yesterday, the Houston Astros designated Carlos Gomez for assignment, likely bringing his tumultuous tenure in Texas to a close. Carlos was a well-below average contributor at the plate and hit just .221/.277/.342 with 9 home runs in 486 plate appearances since being acquired on July 30, 2015. He also battled injuries and has been a poor defender in center field this season per both Defensive Runs Saved and Fielding Runs Above Average.
It has been a swift and depressing decline for the player who was a near-MVP level performer and won a Gold Glove during his 2013-14 peak with our local nine. 18 months ago it appeared GoGo was lining himself up for a $100 mil plus payday when he hits free agency at the end of this season. Now he'll likely be available for the final two months of the season for a prorated portion of the league minimum.
"It’s not a secret that I’m not doing my job and I’m really disappointed in myself," Gomez told reporters following the news of his DFA. The Astros are just 3.5 games back of a Wild Card berth and GM Jeff Luhnow decided that the club would be better served by giving more regular playing time to young Jake Marisnick.
Given his status as a fan favorite here in Milwaukee, it should come as no surprise that there was an outcry on social media to bring Carlos back to the team that he stated he would like to end his career with in an interview earlier this season. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a fit in Milwaukee, whether you look at it from Carlos or David Stearns’ point of view.
It’s seems rather likely that Gomez and the $3 mil or so of his remaining salary for this season will clear waivers, and Carlos has more than enough service time to decline an assignment to the minor leagues without forfeiting the remainder of his money. Gomez’s dreams of scoring a multi-year deal on the open market this winter have evaporated by this point, so he and his agent Scott Boras will almost assuredly look for a situation where Carlos could get everyday at-bats for the rest of the year to try and re-establish a modicum of value. The Mets, a contender that is currently dealing with a rough situation in the outfield, have already said that they are open to adding the former All-Star (who they signed as a 16 year old back in 2002).
If this scenario had occurred a couple of months earlier, Gomez to the Brewers would have been a much more intriguing idea. We have discussed on a few occasions how poorly the club’s outfielders not named Ryan Braun have performed, however things have settled down since the All-Star break.
After posting a collective 81 wRC+ during the first half of the season, Milwaukee’s outfielders are hitting .273/.367/.476 in the second half. As a group, they rank t-1st with 18 home runs and t-2nd with a 121 wRC+.
Keon Broxton has overcome his early season slump and is hitting .368/.478/.658 with 2 home runs and 4 steals since in 47 PA being recalled on July 26th and has earned everyday at-bats in center field. Hernan Perez has been a bit of an adventure in right field as a converted infielder (-3 DRS in 150.2 innings) but he’s in the midst of a nice little offensive breakout this season, hitting .280/.305/.436 in 242 PA with 8 home runs and 20 steals. Perez has a 112 wRC+ since the All-Star break and should be playing somewhere everyday at this point. Both of those players are several years younger than Gomez and given their future club control, could be working themselves into pieces of the Brewers’ future. Braunie, of course, has continued his torrid season-long pace in left field and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon given his contract and no-trade clause.
It wouldn’t be very logical to move any of these players into part-time roles to add two months of Carlos Gomez, especially when one considers the impending return of Domingo Santana to the big league club. I love GoGo as much as anyone, but it would be better for both him and the Brewers for Carlos to pursue other options.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs