After a long and successful career in Major League Baseball, outfielder Carlos Gomez is ready to hang up his cleats. The 13-year veteran is currently playing for Águilas Cibaeñas in the Dominican Winter League playoffs, and his plan is to retire following the conclusion of postseason play. According to Rolando E. Fermín, Gomez hopes to formally announce his retirement at the outset of the 2020 MLB season with the Milwaukee Brewers.
El OF @RealCarlosGomez anunciará su retiro inmediatamente terminé la temporada con @aguilascibaenas.— Rolando E. Fermín (@RollingJr) January 16, 2020
Su intención es hacerlo formalmente al iniciar la temporada de @MLB con @Brewers. pic.twitter.com/wqO8WTxLiy
Gomez has played for six different teams during his parts of 13 seasons at the game’s highest level, but his longest and most successful tenure was the six years that he spent with the Cream City Nine. Gomez arrived in a swap with the Minnesota Twins prior to the 2010 season heading into his age-24 season and slid into an oft-used fourth outfielder role for his first two years with the club. He was a big part of one of the most memorable moments of the decade, scoring the winning run in game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against Arizona.
That would be just the beginning of Gomez’s best years with the Brewers. He finally broke through offensively during the 2012 season, posting an OPS+ over 100 (101, to be exact) for the first time in his career while hitting 19 home runs, stealing 37 bases, and playing his typically outstanding center field defense. That convinced then-GM Doug Melvin to sign him to a contract extension prior to the 2013 season, and Gomez responded with the best year of his career. He posted career-bests with 24 home runs, 73 RBI, and 40 steals while batting .284/.338/.506 for an OPS+ of 128. He was also valued at +32 Defensive Runs Saved in center field. That earned him the first Gold Glove award that a Brewer had won since 1982, and his 7.8 bWAR propelled him to a ninth place finish in Most Valuable Player voting on the Senior Circuit.
Gomez was similarly outstanding in 2014, batting .284/.356/.477 with 23 dingers and 34 swipes, registering a career-high 129 OPS+ while accruing 4.5 bWAR. He got off to a slow start in 2015 but still owned a .262/.328/.423 (104 OPS+) by the time the trade deadline rolled around, and Melvin and the rebuilding Brewers were able to package him up with Mike Fiers and send him to Houston in exchange for Domingo Santana, Brett Phillips, Josh Hader, and Adrian Houser — all of whom played roles, whether on the field or as part of future trade packages, in getting the Brewers to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons in 2018 and 2019.
Gomez was a pretty pedestrian performer during the final few seasons of his career, bouncing from Houston to Texas to Tampa Bay before finishing last season back in New York with the Mets. Carlos’ forceful swings (which sometimes caused him to lose his helmet) and exuberant personality sometimes rubbed some the wrong way, but there is no doubting that the man truly loves to play the game of baseball. He never changed the way he played, remaining just as passionate until the end, giving his all on the field at every level.
In his six seasons with Milwaukee, Gomez compiled a .267/.325/.452 slash line with 87 home runs and 152 stolen bases across 2,576 plate appearances. He was worth 19.1 wins above replacement during his tenure with the Crew, which earned him a spot on BCB’s all-decade team for the 2010’s. Carlos stated as far back as 2016 that he hopes to retire with the Brewers, so here is hoping that the front office figures out some way to bring him to Miller Park and honor his excellent career as well as the contributions that he made to the team and city.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference