Yesterday, the Boston Red Sox reportedly added another player in their rebuilding effort. Susan Sussler of the San Francisco Chronicle first reported the details of the contract, and Gomes is expected to receive a two-year, $10 million deal. The signing is just another move to realign the clubhouse's passion and desire to win with the front office's goals. Things went badly in 2011, but they were so much worse in 2012. The Red Sox can't afford another step back, and quite honestly, they can't afford a small step forward. Gomes could help them take a big step forward.
Sussler, who covers the Oakland Athletics closely (Gomes' former team), made the case that Gomes is a team leader, the kind of guy the Red Sox need in their clubhouse.
Gomes, the A’s unquestioned team leader, got a bunch of young players and minor-league free agents and castoffs to believe in themselves, starting with the first day of spring training. As far back as the day he agreed to sign with Oakland, Gomes told me that there was no reason the A’s team couldn’t do what his 2008 Rays did and use their good young talent to go to the postseason.
That's exactly what the Red Sox want. They are trying to build a clubhouse full of guys more dedicated to the team than themselves. For whatever reason, the perception shifted after the Sox won in 2004 and 2007, and most feel the team's priorities lied in individual things rather than a team concept. Whether that's true or not, and I'm not sure it is, there is no reason to fault Ben Cherington in his desire to go after guys with a good clubhouse persona - with a history of leading players that should be good to greatness.
Oh, and Gomes can hit a little. Last season was arguably Gomes' best offensive season. Throughout his career, he has been average at best with a career line of .244/.334/.455. However, last season Gomes hit .262/.377/.491.
Gomes is a ten-year MLB veteran. He knows what it takes to win, and he will be an asset in Boston. Not could be, will be. As a righty playing in Fenway most of the time, he has a chance to exploit the green monster. That could help him have even a better offensive year than he did last season. The move was a smart one for Boston. There's no doubt about that.
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