Posted on August 20, 2016 by Bryan Zarpentine
The Texas Rangers announced Saturday that they have signed outfielder Carlos Gomez to a minor league contract. The move comes 10 days after he was designated for assignment by the Houston Astros and two days after the Astros released him after being unable to trade him. Gomez will be assigned to triple-A Round Rock, where he is expected to play on Sunday.
“We want to look at him before too much time passes,” said Rangers GM Jon Daniels said. “The way we look at it, he is an extremely talented player who is having a down year. He’s 30 years old and in his physical prime. Obviously we are taking a chance he’s better than his most recent performance.” Daniels added that the hope is to get Gomez to the big leagues “sooner (rather) than later.”
The move comes in part as a reaction to the Rangers losing Shin-Soo Choo to a broken arm that will likely keep him out for the rest of the regular season. “If Choo was in there every day, there would not be the same opportunity,” explains Daniels. The Rangers are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with Gomez, who hit just .210 with a .594 OPS with the Astros this year. “Sometimes guys change scenery, cultures, roles or clubs and play a lot better,” Daniels said. “The playing ability is there. We are intrigued by his talent.”
Sign up for a FREE Trial Consultation to start working with Legendary Sports Bettor Jon Price
Daniels did not say how long Gomez will stay in the minors before coming to the big leagues, but it figures to be no more than a few days. There is also no indication as to how he will factor into the Texas outfield when he does get called up. Gomez has played almost exclusively in center field during his big league career, winning a Gold Glove there in 2013. Of course, Ian Desmond has settled into center field for the Rangers, which could force Gomez to play a corner outfield spot.
It’s possible that Gomez could form a platoon in right field with rookie Nomar Mazara, although the Rangers also have right-hand hitting outfielders in Ryan Rua, Drew Stubbs, and Delino Deshields Jr. Meanwhile, infielder Jurickson Profar has started to see regular time in left field, splitting time with Rua and Deshields. Clearly, the Rangers have no shortage of options in the outfield before adding Gomez to the mix, and based on his performance with the Astros this season, there’s no guarantee he’s a better option than any of them, and so he has much to prove in order to earn regular playing time.
Of course, the Rangers have nothing to lose by signing Gomez, as the Astros will pay a majority of his salary for the remainder of the year. If he can regain the form he had before the Milwaukee Brewers traded him to Houston last summer, he can make a big impact for the AL West leading Rangers. In the meantime, Gomez has a chance to help a team that looks to be headed to the postseason, while also showcasing himself for teams before he hits the free agent market this winter.