The Red Sox are close to a two-year deal with journeyman outfielder and designated hitter Jonny Gomes.
Gomes, who turns 32 on Thursday, hit .262/.377/.491 for Oakland last season with 18 home runs and 47 RBIs in 333 plate appearances and 99 games.
Gomes is a righthanded hitter who has always hit lefthanders well. He 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 has primarily played left field in his career, and not very well. But the Sox appear willing to take that risk in return for righthanded power.
Gomes was the regular left fielder for the Reds in 2010 and had a solid season, hitting .266/.327/.431 with 18 home runs. The Sox would be Gomes’ fourth team in the last three seasons. He started his career with the Rays.
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.
Gomes was involved in two on-field brawls in 2008, one with the Yankees in spring training and another with the Red Sox on June 5 when he pummeled Coco Crisp after Crisp charged the mound.
Gomes was a positive clubhouse presence in Oakland, however, and has a good reputation among former teammates.
Given that the Sox also need a right fielder, signing Gomes would not necessarily end their interest in Cody Ross.
But Ross and Gomes have similar profiles and signing both players is unlikely.
The Sox could use a platoon in right field and employ Ryan Kalish or Daniel Nava in that mix.
CSNNE had the first report of Gomes negotiating with the Sox.