While Lester makes up his mind, Cubs should go get Jonny Gomes

While Lester makes up his mind, Cubs should go get Jonny Gomes

The Jon Lester saga is going to drag on.  The whispers we've heard is that the Cubs are not out and there is "no leader" and, of course, you can take that in many ways.  You can take it at face value or you can say there is agenda behind it.  There is a good argument to be made for either side.

What I don't want is for Lester to use the Cubs to get the best deal possible, as much as I would love to see the Red Sox pay dearly to retain him.

Here is what I do want to see the Cubs do: Go get Jonny Gomes.

I'd overpay for him a bit because other than Martin, I think he is the ideal choice to add to the team's clubhouse.  You know who agrees with me?  Joe Maddon.  Here is an excerpt from an article by Peter Gammons,

In spring training, Joe Maddon said Gomes and James Shields were “the most important people” in taking the 2007-2008 Rays from a team that had never won 71 games to the World Series. Then ten days ago, I asked Evan Longoria who were the most important teamates that 2008 season when he was a rookie and he replied, “no doubt—Shields and Gomes.”

And then there is this...

shields tweet

Do you see where I am going with this?

These are just a couple of examples but you can find article after article on Gomes.  And he is not just a rah-rah guy who is there when the team goes well.  As mentioned above he was the key to the Rays shift from a 71 win to a contender.

"I guess I'm scarred in a positive way, and to me that's important," he said. "Like in [Tampa] in 2008, we went to the World Series with maybe a mediocre team. In [Cincinnati in] 2010, the superstars that are there now weren't superstars then. Last year with the A's, it was a young team that went on that run.

"What do all those teams have in common? Not that good, but where there's a will, there's a way. You've got to grind to shine. I sum up all those seasons, that's what they all have in common."

Gee, I wonder if the Cubs could use a guy like that?

He has also helped James Shields develop as a leader.  Is it a stretch to envision him doing the same for Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant?

Now Gomes isn't a great player anymore and he realizes he has to show it on the field to have real value,  In his own words,

To be the clubhouse guy with the spark, you still have to perform. You can't just be a rodeo clown … and then go and strike out three or four times, or not run the bases hard.

For what it's worth, he still hits LHP very well, even in his subpar season last year (112 RC+ vs. LHP).  Two years ago that RC+ was at 171 and for his career it is 133 RC+.  This is still a productive player and he will sill be 34 on Opening Day, just a couple years older than Russell Martin will be.

As to how he projects next season compared to other Cubs options (per Steamer):

  • Gomes: 19 HRs, 11% walk rate, 99 RC+, .314 wOBA
  • Coghlan:  9 HRs, 9.2% walk rate, 95 RC+ .312 wOBA
  • Ruggiano: 7 HRs, 8,1% walk rate, 99 RC+, .318 wOBA

The numbers won't take a hit (and a platoon of Coghlan/Gomes would produce solid numbers).  And more importantly, he out- produces them in the category the Cubs most want to improve --  the willingness to take a walk. and I think other than Martin, nobody embodies what Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are looking for in a veteran more than Gomes.  And when it strictly comes to intangibles, he may even be at the top of the list. If the Cubs go and get him, then I will probably be far more excited than I should be considering his recent numbers, but I think he will be a positive influence in that he not just leads, but exemplifies what the Cubs want out of their players as far as their approach at the plate.

In other words, he has the approach they want and the leadership skills to pass that on to the young players.

But I think there is more to it than just helping this team, he is the type of players others respect and it is no secret around the league,

Speaking of teammates, Aaron Hill was chatting Friday when Goldschmidt walked by. “There,” said Hill, “is one of the best people, best teammates and best players you’ll ever meet. He is special.”

I think if Jonny Gomes tells people the Cubs are the place to be, it will carry some weight and he is obviously the kind of guy players want in their clubhouse.  And it doesn't hurt that one of those players is James Shields.

I don't want the Cubs to sit back and watch Lester make up his mind and hear afterward that the Cubs were a close second.  I would do what I need to do to get Gomes here and then go kick the tires on Shields.  I would take a long look at Brandon McCarthy, Justin Masterson, and Jason Hammel -- all guys who would be great fits.  If Lester decides in the meantime that he wants to come to Chicago, then great, the Cubs can accommodate him.  But if not, I want to get a head start on these alternatives.

But first things first.  Go get Gomes.






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  • What do you think about a trade of hamels for Almora, cj, McKinney and maybe vogelbach? Then trade Castro and build the minors and get synedgaard and maybe wheeler or a package of two of them

  • In reply to Jjdgolf:

    Amaro would say yes before you finished. I Hope the cubs continue discussions with the Phillies, but Hamels won't end up getting that much for the Phillies.

  • In reply to Jjdgolf:

    That's like... Building a whole team just to wreck it right when they're about to compete.

    That's not to say that there's no guarantee these guys will pan out.

    If they trade Castro now and put their hopes on Baez and Russell they could be asking for trouble if they don't pan out.

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    In reply to Jjdgolf:

    The Hamels trade would be a steal for the Cubs, though if you offer a little better than Vogelbach (who works better in a deal to the AL) as a third piece I think you may be onto something. No way the Cubs get BOTH Wheeler and Syndergaard for Castro. And I think he's worth a little more than one of them.

    I think too many people are only willing to make a trade if the Cubs win it decisively, and that's just not going to happen. I go along if people think it's a year too early to make a deal, but you can't be afraid to trade prospects. They are overvalued and that's where you can win the deal, getting a near sure thing like Hamels and giving back prospects.

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    In reply to Jjdgolf:

    I missed that you had C.J. in there. Actually, that's a fair deal for Hamels in my opinion.

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    In reply to Jjdgolf:

    Or castro and 100% of his contract for hamels straight up. I don't like the idea of them even wanting Gomes. He's like 32 or 33 so he won't play everyday. Seems like he'd be Milton Bradley 2.0 but you know good. And he wasn't on 10 teams in as many years. If They get Gomes They need Lester.. Gomes 2/25 and Lester 5/110.. No more than 5 years for Lester is needed

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    In reply to Rizzo44:

    To add to this I really hope that valbuena is not coming back.. He took olts job. He did a good job I guess but why they didn't trade him to kc or a contender and let their young players play from may til Sept makes no sense. They wouldn't have got much for him but at least he'd be on a contender.

  • Gomes does not excite me at all, and I wouldn't want to see the Cubs over spend on him. I believe he is on the other side of the hill and the hill is getting steeper. Just my opinion.

  • In reply to Tinker Evers Chance:

    He is one year older than Martin, two years older than Lester. We're not talking about an old guy here. He was an above average offensive player vs. LHP last year (112 RC+) and for every year of his career so far. Two years ago he was a whopping 171 RC+.

    I did some research here. He is a better player than you think, just not a full-time guy.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed John, which is why he is a perfect fit. Plays part time so we can see what we have with our core guys, will be experienced enough to come off the bench and hit against a lefty reliever and shouldn't cost as much as signing a big time veteran.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I floated Gomes as part of some good secondary moves for the Cubs on another site and the sharks circled. In the end, they convinced me that the Cubs already have Gomes in Ruggiano. I still wouldn't hate the move, but I don't think it moves the needle much.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I could not agree more John. Many winning teams have players like Gomes and Martin as a central figure in the clubhouse. I think the value can be overstated and would not pay anywhere near the numbers for Martin, but Gomes would be ideal (and would be, for the most part, regardless of whether he maintains the level of numbers you mention).

  • In reply to Tinker Evers Chance:

    I don't think that you get Gomes for his on-field production. I am not sure what an over pay would be, but if he provides the leadership and fills the role well then it would be worth it.

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    How much does Gomes expect to earn next year?

  • In reply to Theo Einstein:

    $5M or so?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    For a Coghlan platoon? I sure hope that's just one year.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    As someone who does believe that managers can make a big difference, funny that this is what Maddon is making. Then there's Theo's salary. Seems like these positions are underpaid. I wish the regular working world paid the same proportionally to the people actually "playing the game."

  • Would the Cubs have to cut Ruggiano then if we get Gomes?

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    Not necessarily.

  • Jonny Gomes, terrible at defense, can't play more than 100 games a year. Leaders don't have to be the best guys on the team, but can they be the worst, because he might be the worst player on the Cubs next season if they got him. You're hiring a mascot.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    He can still play. He is only 33.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    He is 34 Saturday

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Not a huge difference, still just a couple years older than Martin and about 2 1/2 older than Lester, but you are paying this guy a small, short term salary to play a role. They want to upgrade the clubhouse and really not a better guy to do it. If I didn't think he could contribute I wouldn't want him, but he hits lefties and projects just as well overall as Coghlan and Ruggiano -- and he is better in the categories they want to emphasize - more walks and more power.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Look at splits I commented above. Not close to being the worst guy as long as you use him primarily vs. LHP.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Not primarily, he can ONLY play against lefties. He has a 40! wRC+ vs righties. Is his 112 wRC+ vs lefties really a big enough upgrade over Coghaln's 103? Is it worth it when you take into account he's an even worse defender? For a team trying to keep its powder dry, over paying for a part time hitter that can't field because he's "a good leader" seems foolish.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    People were willing to pay Martin 3x more for being a leader when he is an average player on offense. Coghlan doesn't have that kind of track record vs. LHP so lots of doubt he can sustain that.
    Gomes projects to hit 19 HRs with an 11% walk rate with an average RC+ even if he plays full time. Those numbers project better than Coghlan's 2015 season as a full time player.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    People were willing to pay Martin because he's one of the best fielders/framers in baseball and derived a ton of value from that. Martin had actual big time tangible benefits, Gomes doesn't. Gomes was a negative war player last year. Save that $5 mil and use it to go get some middle rotation pitching. I'd hate to miss out on Brandon McCarthy because we spunked $10 mil over 2 years on Jonny Gomes to play cheerleader in the dugout.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Do you honestly think Gomes $5M is going to cost them a pitcher?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, I'm with you. What do people think utility/platoon veterans cost? Also what might you get outbid on with a guy like Masterson or McCarthy? I'm guessing it's not $5 mil. I like Gomes as a platoon with Coghlan just fine thank you and the leadership you're talking about is a perfect fit.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Good point on Martin.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Assuming a platoon with Coghlan to maximize offense from left field.

    Ruggiano's split against LHP in 2014 was .846, Gomes' split against LHP in 2014 was .743.

    I'm not strongly against signing Gomes, but this is not an insignificant drop in production at the expense of leadership.

  • I'm sold. I wasn't when I first saw the article mostly because I heard he wasn't a great mentor type but with Shields and Longoria saying he is, I believe it now. I know he's an upgrade over Sweeney too

  • In reply to Flash:

    Yeah, I heard that too but those quotes changed my mind as well.

  • What does everyone think of these two trade. Since we probably arnt getting lester.
    Hamels for almora, cj, McKinney and vogelbach.
    Castro for synerdgaard and one other pitcher

  • In reply to Jjdgolf:

    Dislike. we don't NEED Hamels this year. By the end of this year, Almora could have turned a corner and could be playing in AAA. CJ could be dominating AAA, etc. I think if the Phillies are asking for too much, he will be there at the trade deadline or even next offseason. Re-evaluate after this year.

    Castro should not be traded unless it is for a ridiculous package we can't turn down. There is no problem with middle infielders. If they all pan out, you move Bryant to the outfield and you have the best offensive infield in the game and you also have one of the best defensive infields in the game. If they don't pan out, you only missed on what could have been a couple prospect "ace" pitchers and you still have very high floor infield talent.

  • In reply to IowaCubbie:

    I would seriously look at a trade offer of Wheeler and Syndegaard for Castro. I would be on the fence, but it certainly would not be unreasonable. I don't consider either of them TOR pitchers, but both are good enough to have the potential of being somewhere between Schields and Hammel.

    However, there is no way the Mets would make that offer.

  • In reply to IowaCubbie:

    I agree with you and gocubsgo.

  • In reply to Jjdgolf:

    Too much. Hamels surplus value on a 4 year deal isnt nearly as much as those guys, who all have a high likelyhood of playing in the bigs at minimum salary. I think even Almora and CJ is too much.

  • In reply to Jjdgolf:

    Trading Castro is a bad idea, as the team would just be getting younger. Rizzo and Castro are finally getting to veteran status and sliding a rookie over to SS would just make the Cubs that much further away.

  • In reply to ISUboiler:

    A good winter ball and spring training for Baez would make Castro more likely to be moved, but it still would take huge package. One day a shortstop will be traded, but Baez and Russell are probably untouchable at this time. Finding positions for three right handed shortstops always seemed like a stretch to me. Don't forget the Cubs have Torres as well in the wings.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Spring training is not a barometer to set BAEZ value . He did reasonably well the last two ST but was really a "dud" for his 2 months in MLB. Why do you believe a good 2015 ST would be a better precursor than the 2013, 2014 ST?

  • In reply to Jjdgolf:

    I'd rather see:

    Hamels + Rollins for Baez, cj, Almora, and Johnson

    Wheeler + Niese for Castro and Wood

    Rollins bridges until Russell's ready and starting pitching is upgraded.

  • In reply to NilesNorth:

    Whoa... No way. Are you a Phillie fan?

    That's Baez who was just last yr. the #1-2 guy in the system, Almora who is now #3-4, CJ who is #5 & Johnson who is #6 for 1 guy on the downside of his career & a SP? Dude...

  • In reply to Jjdgolf:

    I don't think Philly is interested in players that far from MLB ready. I'm not a fan of trading Castro at this time. If / when Baez begins hitting like Baez and Russell is ready to be promoted, maybe.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    The only reason I bring this up is because no one is expecting te Cubs to get lester or Scherzer and they are expected to try and get hamels again.

  • In reply to Jjdgolf:

    I like the idea of the Cubs moving on and staying active rather than waiting for high end free agents looking for their big payday, but most likely fans will see second tier pieces not a big trade.

  • In reply to Jjdgolf:

    That's a good chunk of the "2nd or 3rd wave"... That's 3 of the top 7 prospects, 2 of which are top 5. Not to mention 2 best OF prospects of the Cubs system. Cubs aren't deep in top OF prospects above A ball... They have more coming, but they are pretty far off yet.

    The Cubs plan appears to be to stockpile a load of "bats" in the system for future use/trades. They aren't going to trade the bulk of them in 1 swoop at least not yet... in my opinion.

    I think the Phillies want a MIFer in return anyway.

  • In reply to Jjdgolf:

    Absolutely not. First I don't think that package to Philly gets you Hamels and even if it did you're giving up a potential TOR arm, ideal CF prospect and a guy in McKinney that will be probably be a top 25 prospect come spring. The deal has to be more top loaded to get him and so far the asking price is to high anyway. The Mets thing is fools gold. Give me deGrom and we'll talk but I'm probably not trading Castro pre 2015 season.

  • I wrote this on another article but the spam monster ate it so I will post it here since it fits better here anyway.

    The more and more I think about it, I think we need a year of letting our young guys go through the struggles they WILL go through to get acclimated to the MLB level. If we bright back J hammel on a 2-3 yr deal or McCarthy, that will give us some good innings. I also think we need to sign a flier like Masterson or whoever Bosio thinks he can work his magic on for a one year deal with a club option. Get Gomes or trade for a veteran outfield bat, sign or trade for a left shutdown reliever and sign a back up catcher to complement Beef. At the trade deadline, re-evaluate your situation and find a way to get surplus in a trade(s) to fill in our holes and go get an ace next offseason. 2015 will still be an awesome year to watch and the kids could surprise us all but 2016 should be the year we make our "Werth" siging to show we mean business and are going for it from here on out. Can not wait to see how Theoyer is going to tweek the roster this offseason and get started on rolling this snowball down the hill!

    What do you think it will take in years and dollars to sign Gomes?

  • In reply to IowaCubbie:

    Another year with Bosio as PC might result in another Arrietta out of the staff we already have, too.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I can't argue with that. If Hendricks can maintain or even hover somewhere just worse than what he was doing last year, I would be more than happy! For whatever reason though, EJax seems to be Bosios kryptonite!

  • In reply to IowaCubbie:

    Oddly though Jackson is tradeable as it's unlikely he gets worse. I don't want Swisher though. On Hendricks though? Beware. I just don't see what other people see and his peripherals suggest a different pitcher entirely. I think if he's better than I think he's a #4 starter at best and I'm sure I believe that.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I think Hendricks is our 4/5 starter of the future. Cost controlled and a thinking mans pitcher but if Bosio can keep him even slightly worse than what he was last year for this year, then you get to chalk that up as another huge victory for Bosio. I think EJax is gone so having trade value is great. I don't care if we get a sack of balls for him, he should be gone asap.

  • In reply to IowaCubbie:

    I could not have said it better myself.

    2015 is not the year to go "all in". We need to evaluate the young talent we have and see how that all shakes out.

    We can still trade in 2015 before the deadline if the potential of the rookies accelarates into a playoff team.

    I am really afraid of the unrealistic expectations of the Cubdom nation this year. I think the lack of wins has clouded our judgement on how long it takes to build a real winning ballclub.

  • In reply to IowaCubbie:

    I don't think the Cubs are going to sign 3 more middle rotation guys... They have a bunch of guys already for those spots. I could see 1 or maybe 2 more with the idea of flipping somebody, maybe someone already here... But not 3.

    Not excited about Gomes... He'd definitely crowd the OF picture of mediocre talent, his veteran leadership aside. So Soler, Alcantara, Gomes, Coghlan & ??? Ruggiano, Sweeney, Lake, Sczcur... Olt maybe...? The 5th guy probably has to be someone who can play CF.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    I only said to sign 2 guys. Either J Ham or McCarthy and then a flier. I am figuring we don't have Jackson in the rotation next year so you have Arrieta, J Hammel or McCarthy, Hendricks, Flier and Wood/Wada. I know Hendricks is probably a 4/5 but this year he will probably be the 3/4 guy. After you sign your ace next year, he slides down to where his arsenal best suits us.

    As for Gomes, I think he is a good platoon with Coghlan because I don't think he is an everyday guy but if he plays like last year, he is at least a long side of a platoon guy. Gomes isn't what you are looking for defensively but that is why he would be playing left field at Wrigley. The other outfielders we use are Soler, Alcantara and one of Sweeney/Ruggiano as the #5. You keep them because they can also back up Center. You will have Lake in AAA trying to prove himself and if he does, he can be the 4th/5th outfielder. The outfield is crowded with guys that are all kind of fringy, so get Gomes who stands out because of his leadership qualities and try to package the rest or trade the rest for either low level prospects or for a LHRP that we need.

  • In reply to IowaCubbie:

    I could not agree more....if the kids show they are ready to be constant contributors right away, then we can make a move at the 2015 trade deadline. But I expect 2015 to be the year with lots of "wows" in terms of awesome highlights from Bryant/Soler/Baez/AA/Russell (if he makes it late year) and lots of "wows" in terms of silly rookie mistakes. Having watched them all come through the system (or trade, in case of Russell), I am excited to watch this growing process and hopefully see them all reach their potential. I just don't think we need to give up a draft pick to sign (or top prospects in a trade for) someone this year as it is difficult for me to project we will contend.

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    Gomes = stable pony

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Yep. Stud.

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    I'll certainly take the word of guys like Shields and Maddon over my own impression but Gomes has always annoyed me. Seems to be an over the top "RAH! RAH!" guy. Swisher Lite.

    Didn't he get called out for celebrating Adam Wainwright season ending injury a few years ago?

  • In reply to Pooch7171:

    Not like Swisher. I don't like Swisher. I like Gomes.

    He is a high energy guy but that is about all they have in common. Swisher is about Swisher. Gomes is all about his team and teammates.

  • Looking at Gomes' splits, it looks like he still has some value against LH pitching, but not much else in terms of performance. He would make sense in that role, but I would think Ruggiano would have to go if you signed him. Keeping two guys who basically perform the same function as 4th and 5th outfielders seems redundant. But, if Gomes helps bring in Lester, I'm all for it.

  • In reply to corleone:

    Trade Ruggiano for a LHRP after you sign Gomes and kill 2 birds.

  • In reply to corleone:

    I like Ruggiano and if the Cubs don't get Gomes, I am all for holding on to him. Will be tough to do but if he shows he can be adequate in CF, maybe there is some room.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    john, spam monster must be hungry today. He ate a couple of my posts.

  • In reply to IowaCubbie:

    Ha! Has it in for you for some reason. I released them all. I'll keep an eye on it.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks John

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Seems to me the cubs "wasted" $5M a few years ago on a pitcher who barely got off the disabled list by the end of the yr.

  • In reply to stix:

    Pushed the wrong "button" but if they could waste the $5M on a pitcher then why not on someone who might be the "experience" glue the cubs seem to need. If he doesn't work out by the trade deadline , swallow hard and confess to "another" miss and move on. They do have AA to cover for the imbalance of players on the bench . This all dies if the cubs continue to carry 13 pitchers.

  • In reply to stix:

    It didn't cost them anything but the money. Had room to add more salary if they wanted to.

  • Agree 100%. Platoon him with Coghlan and LF is covered for 2015, plus we have the ideal veteran to add to a still-too-young team. He will provide some of the intangibles we would have had with Russell.

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    I wasn't a fan of gomes when I thought we had a chance at martin. Now I wouldn't mind him. I also would like to kick the tires on David Ross. He would make for a solid back up for Castillo and brings the leadership and pitch framing while hitting lefty with a bit of pop. Ross and gomes could provide some solid leadership.

    Also I am nervous about alcantara being the only cf option. If we bring in gomes that means coghlan, soler, ruggiano, alcantara are our options. Maybe see if bonafacio would be interested in coming back? Tough to carry ruggiano, gomes, and coghlan on the same roster with no true cf.

  • In reply to marcf:

    Agreed on Ross. If they don't want to spend on Montero then I like Ross as a backup, because I think on defense he can teach Castillo a lot, especially in regards to framing.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    If they do sign gomes what would be your cf plan? Just hope alcantara holds it down? See if ruggiano can fake it out there? Maybe sweeney if he can stay healthy?

  • Thanks for the write-up. I wouldn't mind seeing a guy like Gomes on the 25-man - assuming it doesn't cost us much.

    I don't have much faith in our ability / willingness to sign any TOR so I don't think the payroll side of things is going to be much of a deterrent.

  • In reply to Roscoe Village:

    I don't think he will cost much and it will probably be a one or two year deal.

  • OK, so we'd like to have Gomes 6 years ago. Don't see how that helps now. Alcantara is a better player now than Gomes is. Don't want to waste a roster spot.

  • Only concern I have is the NL central looks to be rhp heavy. Any concern finding him ABs when he can only play LF?

  • In reply to couch:

    Gomes is still an above average offensive player vs. LHP and he is only 33. Don't see that changing. Numbers should pick up at Wrigley and the NL too.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Totally agree. My concern though is if the Cubs are facing mainly RHP, wouldn't they prefer to start Coghlan in left field? If so he will be on the short side of a platoon only made shorter by the RHP dominate N.L. Central. So just concerned about getting him enough ABs.

  • In reply to couch:

    That is a good point. Some concern there but I think you can pick spots for him to get extra ABs.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Signing gomes with addition of la Stella would make for an interesting bench. Not a ton flexibility with those two.

  • In reply to marcf:

    I think the Cubs have enough versatility with Alcantara, Valbuena, and Baez to cover it. In fact, I think Alcantara's ultimate role is a Zobrist super sub type role. If the can get a CF into the mix I think they'll be more than fine.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Any thoughts on who that cf could be?

  • In reply to marcf:

    I still like a bad contract swap for Bourn or Crisp if the respective teams are willing.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    We do have a lot of "weapons" off the bench for Maddon to play with. I really like the concept of having La Stella or Gomes pinch hit to force the pitchers to throw strikes. It would be a great way to bridge the gap back to a potent top of the line up.

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    Thanks. I think it is important to bring in these guys who value walks and it would mean a lot coming from a guy who has been on nothing but winning teams.

  • If Joe Maddon says he wants Gomes, that's enough for me. I don't care if he pinch-hits once a month, if he helps motivate the rest of the team.

    I'd really like to see someone currently on the roster step up to a leadership role, but I have to assume that if Hoystein says they need to bring it in, I'll go with that.

  • Ruggiano does not seem to add much to the clubhouse as far as leadership. If the Cubs are going to turn the corner strong leadership will be paramount. This was a big part of the upside to Martin. I think it would be a good signing.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Ruggiano is a good guy but Gomes is a difference maker. He has been through it all and he has the personality to lead.

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    John, great work as usual. I agree the Cubs need to make there best and final offer and move on to the next target.

    What do you think it would take for the Cubs to get Carl Crawford from the Dodgers? Could we offer a couple of second tier prospects and agree to eat some of his large contract (so we don't disrupt our talent base)?

  • In reply to DrivingMeNuts:

    Thanks. Crawford plays left so that would have to be an alternative to a Coghlan/Gomes. I wouldn't mind that at all. It would take more payroll space. I think both ways you probably get an average player overall but Crawford's D and speed may be worth the extra money. Whatever they get, I want it to be a short term solution. Bats are on the way.

  • I just want Theo to bring in a couple filthy animal types like in Boston. Those animal and idiot teams had that certain it that pushed them over the top. If Gomes brings that I am all for it. Plus He is one of my FA guess picks #2 to be exact lol.

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    Liriano's starting to look like a good possible addition. Too he'd cost a draft pick.

  • In reply to Ray:

    I think I'd rather have Shields if I am giving up the pick, but maybe depends on what each would cost.

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    In reply to John Arguello:


  • How long do you sign him for? 1-2 years I'm guessing so he'll never even meet Russell or Schwarber. Why don't we just signed Shields?

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    In reply to good4you:

    Liriano's looking for 3 or 4 years at $12 million per.

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    Best thing about this article is that we shouldn't just wait for Lester. If Maddon wants Gomes then I think we go get him to help set the clubhouse right. I also think that Shields should be sought right now just as much as Gomes. Shields provides us a guy that also gets us leadership as well as innings needed. He is an insurance policy in case we don't get Lester and is a safer bet than anything else left.

    If we do get Lester then all the better but if he shuns us also then we can turn to McCarthy or Masterson or even Jason Hammel. The addition of Shields gets us at least 3 spots tied down with Arrieta, Shields and Hendricks.

    I would also then look to see if Andrew Miller is still out there. He's gonna get paid and I see the game starting to rely more and more on relievers. With the starters giving us only 5 or 6 innings, we need the Andrew Miller types that can pitch 2 innings for 2 or 3 times a week. This is also strictly dependent on if we land Lester.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    I strongly agree with you and John on this. Let's go! We don't need certain guys anymore...we would like them.. but I'd really like us to start acting like we are in a position of strength. If you want to come along for the greatest ride in all of sports let's go...if not seeya there's other guiys who will and you can stand on the dock with confetti in your hair waving goodbye. Let's get Gomes, Ross some combo of Hammel,Masterson,McCarthy,Anderson...shoot the moon with Miller and lock down pen to shorten games. Let Maddon figure out the rest. Enough of sitting around like a bridesmaid waiting for a callback. Onwards..

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    I had both Gomes & Ross on my list over Martin because I thought it was a stretch to pay a 32 year old catcher that much money. Ross and Gomes are a much cheaper alternative and widely praised for their leadership skills. Gomes on the short side of a platoon is worth a shot.

  • In reply to Aggravated Battery:

    Martin was my quick fix compete now sign, but his loss slows things down and might be better in the long run.

  • Great write up John...First time commenter here.

    I love the idea of bringing Gomes in...serving a role almost like a veteran backup QB...can still play when called upon, but great mentor/leader/clubhouse guy.

    I've actually changed my viewpoint on Lester...I'm almost hoping we miss on him now and that forces us to go for Shields. With Shields coming cheaper, that would be even more money to overpay Price with next year...doesn't a Madden/Gomes/Shields/Price reunion excite anybody else!?

    I also think there is money to be saved in say a Masterson deal over a Hammel deal...money to again put into Price next year.

  • In reply to CubbieRoad:

    Thank. I also think he hits well enough vs. LHP to stick take some pressure off of Soler/Bryant. Nice to have a vet vs. LHP other than Castro and Castillo, who are still young.

  • plus he is good friends with the mlb referee.


    greatest interview EVER. lol

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:


  • Since the Blue Jays no longer need Dionne Navarro as their everyday catcher, what would it take to bring him back?

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    You have to think Navarro is moving to DH with Lind gone, no?

  • If the goal is to find a guy with leadership 'quality' and some experience with post-season success - AND that guy is going to be platooned in combo with Coughlin - I can see Gomez as a good add.

    But part of how good an add he ends up being will depend on where the Cubs decide to play Bryant. If Bryant ends up shifted to LF or RF (and if presumably Soler is in the other corner as a mainstay),.... Then where does Gomez get PT? If Bryant is the regular 3B guy post April 2015, then it isn't a problem,....

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I think Bryant at least starts at 3B but that is an excellent point. A lot of things to consider. I guess the possibility that Bryant won't play 3B and Russell won't play SS makes me more hesitant to get anything but a one year solution in LF.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    My thoughts exactly, John! Get Gomes for a year and see what happens. Would go 2 years on him due to intangibles and good fit vs. LHP off bench if that is how his role evolves. If no Lester then Shields would be great fit depending on cost. I saw every one of his starts last 2 years and he wins even without his best stuff. On days when not pitching I often saw him engaged in the dugout with his teammates. Other Royals pitchers credited him for his leadership on the staff.

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    In reply to drkazmd65:

    We seem to think alike, doc, I was also why no one has put Bryant into the equation. Valbuena last year out up a 1.6 bWAR season, .250/.340/.435 - you put Bryant in LF to start the season and see what you have in valbuena, Olt and Baez by the trading deadline before deciding on your set pinfield until Russell comes up. This is still an evaluation year, this is NOT a contending year. Gomes seems like another spare part in a machine that has too many of them already.

  • Looking back at how tumultuous the outfield was with the Cubs last year, signing Gomes seems like a no-brainer. Who would have thought that Coghlan was going to be the Cubs most productive outfielder in 2014?
    As others have pointed out, CF is still a concern? Do most people think Alcantara can handle CF defensively? I'd imagine he is spending his off season working on it.

  • In reply to couch:

    I think he can handle it. Probably won't be plus out there, but he will at least cover some ground.

  • Gomes,McCarthy and Hammel along with a salary swap of EJax would not be a star-studded offseason, but it would be constructive and setting a good foundation for the team.
    I'm with you on Gomes 100%- go get him now.

  • In reply to Cuyler:

    I like Lester, Shields, and McCarthy too. I'd be happy in that order but I'd be okay with McCarthy and another guy like Hammel or Masterson.

  • just saw on ESPN that the DBacks will call Tim Wilkens to interview for their scouting director position.

  • Great article John. I agree wholeheartedly with you (which is why I had Gomes as my #1 pick in the contest). He is the perfect player for what the Cubs need in LF to go with Coghlan this year. As far as his cost, it doesn't matter. Cubs fans need to stop watching the Cubs pocket book for them...First of all, the Cubs have a TON of money to spend short term (just to get to the same payroll as last year!) and no secondary player is going to prevent the Cubs from getting anybody else, especially top targets. If the Cubs front office wants a player, the money will be there, as long as they think the player is worth the money and years. The Cubs haven't missed out on players because of financially imposed limits but because of self-restraint, and an unwillingness to lock the team into bad long term contracts.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Thanks, I knew I read somebody had him at the top. That may end up winning it for you.

    Agreed. I think they can just add Gomes cost to whatever they add this year. If it is 5M over their total budget, so what? It is short term and a nominal amount.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:


  • I like the thought of at least exploring a deal for Shields. I don't consider him to be a #1 kind of guy, but rather a very solid #3. I think he is the horse you can ride into the playoffs, but really wouldn't trust him to go match up with the Mad Bum's of the world. He will likely give you a mid-3 ERA and consistently keep you in games while going 200 innings every year.

    I would be interested in him starting 2015 as the #1 guy, then falling into the #3 spot in 2016 with Price or Zimmerman at the top.

  • Interesting thoughts at Fangraphs about Hamels value. They use Bosox as an example.


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    In reply to stv711:

    Very enlightening. Thanks for sharing. On the surface, it would seem like good news because it suggests that the Cubs should be able to get Hamels for say, Baez and change.

    But it's not really good news because the Phillies will just hold on to him. They aren't dealing Hamels for one good prospect or two pretty good prospect. And judging by this, maybe the Cubs shouldn't offer any more than maybe Almora and a second prospect in the 10-15 range from their system.

  • Another thing about adding as a team of strength while waiting on Lester is that, the Cubs might look better to him as an option.

  • How about a 30 year old (31 next season) guy who could play 3rd or left for a few years, a veteran leader type with playoff experience, some speed in his legs, and a career line of .300/.373/.500. Due to durability questions and a qualifying offer I think he comes cheaper than we would think. Its too bad Hanley Ramirez bats righty. With Katz as his agent and the slow market id definitely at least kick the tires on it. Sorry I'm just dreaming of adding a great player instead of a platooner. (I really like gomes too,)

  • In reply to northside disciple:

    I hope they add more than a platoon player too, but I think he'd be a nice start.

    I think there are enough worries about Hanley's fit in several ways (position, RH hitter, questionable clubhouse guy) that they won't consider him.

  • Gomes strikes out a lot. Not a great fit. Markakis would be better.

  • I love it! Ideal fit. I think the Gomes signing is pretty much in the bag considering all the circumstances.

    I'll take that a little further and say that among pitchers other than Lester, Shields to me would be the 'great' fit while McCarthy, Hammel, and Masterson would fall into the 'nice' fit category. Yeah there's the pick. Yeah there's the 5/90. But for me, there's just a much greater likelihood of Shields being a 2ish guy than there is for those other guys being a solid 3.

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    I have been on the Gomes bandwagon for a while now. He is also coming off of 2 years at $5M/year. I wonder if another 2/$8-10M might entice him. If he completely flops (which I doubt) I can eat a $4-5M contract without too much difficulty. He is also much cheaper than anyone expected Martin to be.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:


  • I like the potential of Baez and wouldn't consider trading him. His value right now is very low and potential is great. Of course its a gamble but one worth taking. I firmly believe if he dosen't reach his top potential he'll have way more value in a year or two. Why would you trade that POWER and po on such a young player that plays good defense.

  • In reply to rockyje:

    I'm with you. His potential is off the charts and even if he never becomes a middle-of-the order hitter, I'll take a good to very good defensive 2B (and can fill in at short) that gets you 30 knocks down at the bottom of the order. He has the right attitude and is still learning.

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