Stop us if you have heard this before. The Royals need a power bat. They need someone that can actually hit the occasional home run and slot into the middle of their lineup. Right field could use a potential upgrade. Blah blah blah.
Now, no one is denying that the Royals offense could use a significant upgrade. Even with their solid pitching, the Royals scoring just over four runs a game is not nearly enough. A legitimate power hitter seems to be exactly what the Royals need. With Nori Aoki providing minimal production and Raul Ibanez providing even less than that, Royals General manager Dayton Moore is apparently checking in on various trade targets. According to Jerry Crasnick on Twitter, one of those targets is Boston Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 14, 2014
So, right now, the best answer that Moore can come up with to solve the Royals power outage is Gomes? For the season, Gomes is hitting at a .234/.329/.351 rate with five home runs as part of one of the worst offensive outfields in baseball. That batting line gives Gomes an OPS+ of 90, which is still below average. In fact, that is just ten points higher than Aoki this season. While Gomes has displayed the ability to hit for power in his career, with with three seasons of twenty or more home runs, he has not had that type of year since 2009. That is the possible upgrade in the outfield?
There are certain things that Jonny Gomes can do well. He has more range than Ibanez, and is not actually Raul Ibanez, which gives him the potential to be useful. Gomes is also, known as someone that can hit lefthanded pitching well, producing a .279/.379/.496 batting line with 61 home runs against lefties in his career. The problem is, the Royals already have that type of hitter on their roster, with Danny Valencia in Kansas City and Justin Maxwell in Omaha. If the Royals are looking for a platoon partner for Aoki, then why not give Maxwell more of a chance?
Gomes does carry potential intangible benefits as well. He has been labelled a winner, as Gomes has been a part of a playoff team in three of the last four years. He is considered an excellent addition to a clubhouse, someone who thrives in a veteran leadership role and could have a positive impact upon a young roster. However, in order for Gomes to bring those intangibles to the table, he needs to be a productive member of the team. Will Gomes actually be productive enough with the Royals to make that sort of an impact?
The Royals certainly need a power bat in the lineup. What they need is an every day player, someone who can be virtually penned in and be able to be a legitimate power threat. Jonny Gomes just does not fit that description.