Jul 8, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes (5) hits a single during the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals Need More than Jonny Gomes


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.

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.


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  • Tyler_KC_Fan

    Couldn’t agree more. I think Gomes could help, but I hope that we have trades that will bring in someone a little but better. Doesn’t have to be a huge improvement, but an improvement is all we can hope for.

  • nathan82

    I am at the point that I don’t think the Royals should do much of anything. I would be fine with a small move, which hopefully Gomes would be, but no blockbuster trade. I just don’t think it will be enough to beat the Tigers, A’s, and Angels. Those teams are much better, and adding David Price, or Ben Zobrist or whoever is not enough. I think the Royals will hang around and compete for a wild card, just like last year. They may get in, but I don’t think this is a championship team and I don’t want to give away the farm just to make a wild card appearance. The only exception would be for Stanton. If you can get him, then give away the entire farm system and I will have my jersey order in tomorrow.

  • jimfetterolf

    Hello? Platoon partner in RF? Dyson hits righties well, Aoki has .348/.392/.435 against lefties. No reason on earth to mess with the platoon.

    One thing I might look at is bringing Frank Pena up to give Salvy some breaks and maybe sit Hosmer against lefties with Sal at 1st and Frank behind the plate.

    • Dave Hill

      I’m with you entirely on this Jim. Unless they bring in a legitimate, every day in the lineup power hitter, then it doesn’t make sense to make this move.

    • cardsfanatik

      While I don’t completely disagree with anything you just said, and I don’t want our “upgrade” to be Jonny Gomes, The Royal’s need a middle of the order bat (not named Gomes). To many platoons. They need an everyday productive bat. I’m kind of discouraged that Dayton isn’t doing more to take care of that situation either, especially with the way the Central Division is a little weak this year. I don’t see them having the same opportunity next year. Detroit will do what it needs to this offseason, and so will Cleveland. The Royal’s also have no prospects beating on the door right now, so what they have is what they have. And its not good enough this year, and I know it won’t be good enough next year.
      I really think they need to consider trading Butler to the Mariner’s, get some prospects, dump some salary, and then make a trade for a power bat. Trumbo maybe? Not sure who all could be had, but Butler’s average and power are bad this year. Trumbo’s average is always abysmal, but if he hits 35+ HR’s, I’ll take a .230ish BA. They are going to have to go after one or the other, average OR power, they can’t afford both in a hitter. So take your pick, but BB isn’t producing either this year. And he’s getting paid to just hit.
      I’m not entirely sure why Pena isn’t already up and on the roster. WAY more upside than Hayes, and would provide more at the plate as well.
      Also, Fields is having a pretty good year, decent average and hitting for some power, and Whit Merrifield is absolutely killing the ball right now, not a lot of power, but hitting well over .300 last I checked. We have some guys that could help, or be used to bring in what we need.

    • Bear Brinkman

      I’d go for Byrd because he can relieve Hosmer and Butler but we’re set in the OF.

  • Mich0225

    I agree. They should give Maxwell more of a chance. Instead they get 42 year old Ibanez? They also have too much money tied up in Butler.

  • unclejesse40

    I would still love to see a computer pick the line up for a week and see what the outcome would be. Let an unbiased computer pick which players and in which order would, statistically speaking, have the greatest impact. While baseball is a game that uses real people and not stats, this wouldn’t always create a win but ignoring how well a certain player does against a certain type of pitcher simply because its not his night seems foolish to me. Get the best guys on the field and play the game. As Jim has stated earlier, a Dyson/Aoki platoon isn’t half bad and the defense is still a plus. I don’t want to see us give up real long term talent for a guy that might hit 3-4 extra homers the rest of the year.