Posted on August 12, 2016 by Bryan Zarpentine
Carlos Gomez’s time with the Houston Astros is over after he was designated for assignment on Wednesday amidst a disastrous season. However, it may not be too long until he catches on with another team. Reports indicate that both the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets have shown some level of interest in Gomez, increasing the possibility that one of those teams will work out a trade with the Astros before Gomez is released and free to sign with any team.
Interest from the Cardinals comes less than a day after losing Matt Holliday to the DL with a fractured thumb. The Cardinals have suffered a slew of injuries this season, forcing them to reshuffle both their infield and outfield alignment on multiple occasions. The addition of Gomez would give them a veteran outfielder to help them endure the absence of Holliday, who doesn’t believe the thumb injury will end his season. Gomez struggled throughout his tenure in Houston but was a productive player towards the end of his tenure with the Milwaukee Brewers. Taking a chance on Gomez may be a better option for St. Louis than young outfielders like Randal Grichuk, who like Gomez has had a disappointing season.
The Mets are also reportedly linked to Gomez amidst a series of injuries. Mets GM Sandy Alderson said “we always have an open mind,” when asked about Gomez shortly after the Astros designated him for assignment. The Mets are currently without Yoenis Cespedes and Juan Lagares, who are both on the DL, while Michael Conforto was demoted Friday amidst continued struggles. New York has no healthy right-hand hitting outfielders at the moment, so Gomez could fill a need they have. He would also bring strong defensive play to center field, something the Mets are missing without Lagares.
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Of course, Gomez began his career in the Mets organization and made his big league debut with the club in 2007 and looked to be part of their future. However, the following winter he was a key piece in the trade with the Minnesota Twins that gave the Mets Johan Santana. The Mets have already reunited with Jose Reyes this season, so there could be some symmetry to the team also bring back Gomez during a time of need.
Nothing is certain with regard to Gomez ending up with either the Cardinals or Mets, but both teams are in the thick of the wild card race in the National League, and considering the injuries that have held back each team, both St. Louis and New York may be willing to try just about anything to get an edge. If either completes a trade with the Astros, they would be on the hook for what’s left of Gomez’s $9 million salary this season. If Houston can’t make a trade by Thursday, Gomez will be released and any team will be able to sign him at the league minimum with the Astros picking up the rest of his salary. Either way, Gomez will be a free agent after the season.
What will happen with Gomez remains to be seen. But considering the reported interest from both the Cardinals and Mets, it’s possible for him to go from cast away to X-factor in the National League wild card race in a matter of days. Gomez may have had a rough season with the Astros, but he’s still a player worth paying attention to if he lands somewhere else.