With the Boston Red Sox officially announcing the signing of free agent OF Jonny Gomes, first reported by both the Boston Herald's Scott Lauber and CSNNE Sports's Sean McAdam, its time to look at what the potential impact the signing will have on the team.
The signing of Gomes makes sense on a number of levels on the field and in the clubhouse. Gomes is someone who I mentioned would make sense in Boston as a platoon player on a short-term deal.
Offensively, he will be a necessary weapon in the AL East with a career slash line of .282/.382/.512 against lefties.
In a division that features CC Sabathia, David Price, Matt Moore, Rickey Romero, Mark Buehrle, Wei-Yin Chen and likely Andy Pettitte, having a right-handed hitter that can hit with power against the tough lefties in the AL East will have a big impact on the Red Sox roster.
Does this mean that Cody Ross is not coming back? Not necessarily. Nothing about Gomes' two-year $10 million deal precludes Boston from bringing fan favorite Ross back. It might give them the necessary leverage to either sign Ross or protect the team should he choose to play elsewhere.
If Ross signs with Boston, Gomes will likely platoon in left field with another left-handed slugger. If Ross signs elsewhere, then the Red Sox will still look for a platoon partner for Gomes while seeing what their options are for right field.
The Red Sox still have options in the event that something or someone unexpected falls into their lap during the winter. Gomes is the type of player that will always have value, so if Bryce Brentz or Jackie Bradley skyrocket to the majors in 2013, Gomes could be moved without a lot of trouble.
Even bigger than the potential impact that Gomes might have on the Red Sox offense is his impact on changing the Boston clubhouse.
Jonny Gomes will be to the 2013 Red Sox exactly what Kevin Millar was to the 2003 Red Sox.
Jokester, prankster, class-clown. Bring back the idiots.
Red Sox players have recently seemed to shrink from the pressure, attention and expectations of playing in front of a demanding fanbase every night. Gomes will keep the team loose, have fun and remind everyone that it's a game on a nightly basis.
Gomes, with the A's chasing the Rangers down the stretch in 2012, seemed to be the type of player that could rally the team and have fun in a pennant chase.
Hopefully he can have the same impact on the Sox as he had on the A's in 2012.
Bring back the idiots.
Statistic from Baseball Reference.