After some interesting twists and turns, it’s over: Carlos Gomez signs with the Texas Rangers after being released by the Houston Astros, which seems to fit well with everyone.
The 30-year old centerfielder was designated for assignment almost two weeks ago by the Astros after doing poorly (especially this season) since being acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers via trade. He was released on August 18, and now signed by the Rangers. It’s a minor league contract, and Gomez will play a few games in the minors before joining up with the AL West leaders, with most of what remains of his $9 million salary this season up to the Astros to pay.
The Rangers are probably going to use Gomez in different roles, depending on their need, although he has played only at CF this season, batting .210 with a .594 OPS, hitting 5 home runs on 323 plate appearances. Ian Desmond is the centerfielder, Profar Jurickson is slated in left field and Nomar Mazara in right field. However, Jurickson is someone they keep testing in different areas, trying to find out where he’s at his best. Meanwhile, Shin-Soo Choo’s arm fracture opens up some playing time for Gomez.
There are other outfielders, like Carlos Beltran, although he’s mostly been brought in to do some DH work. Delino DeShields and Ryan Rua are also on the depth chart, but haven’t gained trust with their hitting. Gomez hasn’t been hitting well too, otherwise he wouldn’t have been released. But his track record, which includes two All-Star games and hitting 47 home runs in 2013-214, along with a .284 batting average and a .838 OPS, suggests the Rangers can hope for some resurgence from him.
The Rangers are hoping that Gomez has a late season awakening, beating the San Francisco Giants and Miami Marlins to signing him. He becomes a free agent at the end of the season. Not too long ago many thought he’d be able to land a huge deal hitting free agency. Now he’s actually fighting to keep himself relevant, and not become someone who waits until very late in the offseason to find himself a team, on a much smaller pay than what he earned in the last few years.