The Red Sox have too many holes in their roster to fill them all with high-profile players. That helped lead them to journeyman outfielder Jonny Gomes, who on Wednesday agreed to terms on a two-year deal worth $10 million.
The contract is pending a physical.
Gomes, who turns 32 on Thanksgiving, hit .262 with an .868 OPS for Oakland last season. He had 18 home runs and 47 RBIs in 333 plate appearances.
The righthanded hitter has traditionally hit well against lefthanders. He is best suited as a platoon player but was Cincinnati’s full-time left fielder in 2010.
While Gomes could be the regular left fielder, the Sox also have lefthanded-hitting Ryan Kalish and switch hitter Daniel Nava on their roster.
Gomes hit .299 with a .974 OPS against lefthanders last season in 164 at-bats. He hit .209 with a .715 OPS against righthanders in 115 at-bats.
Gomes also is a pull hitter, something that should serve him well at Fenway Park.
Gomes has flaws, primarily below-average defensive skills. But he was considered a good clubhouse presence with Oakland, and Red Sox officials value that as part of their rebuilding process.
The Sox will be Gomes’s fourth team in the last three seasons. He started his career with the Rays, serving primarily as a designated hitter. He signed as a free agent with the Reds in 2009 then was traded to the Nationals in 2011. Gomes had a $1 million deal with Oakland last season.
Given that the Sox also need a right fielder, signing Gomes would not necessarily end their interest in Cody Ross. But Ross and Gomes are similar players and signing both would limit the versatility of the roster.
Gomes was involved in two on-field brawls in 2008, one with the Yankees in spring training and another with the Red Sox June 5. In the latter, Gomes landed punches on Sox outfielder Coco Crisp after Crisp charged the mound. Crisp and Gomes were teammates in Oakland last season.Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.