Carlos Gomez Breaking Bat

The Houston Astros designated Carlos Gomez for assignment, which means he might become available for signing very soon. The New York Mets, where Gomez began his major league career, might be interested in bringing him back.

Gomez, having a terrible time with the Astros since joining them midway through the 2015 season, has been doing even worse this year. From batting .242 with a .670 OPS after arriving from the Milwaukee Brewers, he’s down to a .210 batting average and a .594 OPS, hitting just 5 home runs through 323 plate appearances, which comes to him just as he enters the final months of his four-year deal, paying him $28.3 million overall, and $9 million this season. From the looks of things now, he’ll be a minimum-salary player next season.

We’ve seen players refuse to play in the minors after getting demoted, which might lead to some interesting developments, but there hasn’t been any news of further changes. What will be likely is the Mets looking into Gomez. He was initially supposed to join the Mets via trade from the Brewers, but the deal collapsed when the Mets had concerns about his hip, leading the Astros to swoop in just before the summer trade deadline a year ago. Now, they might get him for a lot cheaper than before.

Besides the price, the Mets need speed, and help with their centerfield situation. Only two teams have less stolen bases than them, and overall do very poorly when it comes to base running. Right now, the centerfield options are Yoenis Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto and Alejandro de Aza. However, Cespedes hates playing center field, de Aza is doing terribly this season, Granderson is a defensive liability and Conforto simply lacks experience at center. Gomez is strictly a centerfielder, and his defense remains good, while the Mets, or anyone else who signs him, will hope his batting numbers improve.

Gomez was an All-Star in 2013 and 2014 with the Brewers, batting .284 with a .838 OPS through those two years, hitting 47 home runs and stealing 74 bases, even winning one gold glove award. Surely starting on triple A is the only option for him, but with Scott Boras being his agent, who knows what’s going to happen. Gomez was signed by the Mets when he was 16, making his major league debut for them in 2007. He played 58 games before moving on to a career with the Minnesota Twins and the Brewers. He’ll be 31 in December.

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