Jonny Gomes has been a popular player wherever he's been, and that's been a lot of places -- Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, Boston, Washington and Oakland. Popularity, of course, isn't the reason to sign a player, but Patrick Mooney reports the Cubs are thinking about signing Gomes:
The Cubs are one of five teams that have reached out to Gomes and shown real interest, according to an industry source. The veteran outfielder had been on the radar even before the Cubs hired new manager Joe Maddon, and the two are said to have a strong relationship after their time together with the Tampa Bay Rays. Gomes, who will turn 34 this weekend, is a part-time player now. But he helped the (Devil) Rays go from worst-to-first and get to the 2008 World Series. He’s been to the playoffs with the Cincinnati Reds (2010) and Oakland A’s (2012). He wore a Captain America stars-and-stripes blazer to the White House after the Boston Red Sox won the 2013 World Series.
The photo above is of Gomes in that blazer. That's not a reason to sign him either, of course, but he does have considerable playoff experience, as noted above, and played three years for Maddon with Tampa Bay.
Gomes had pretty good offensive seasons in 2012 and 2013, but slipped last year to .234/.327/.330 with just six home runs in 273 at-bats. He turns 34 this Saturday, so this wouldn't be much more than a one-year bench player signing, and likely wouldn't cost much. Gomes made $5 million in 2013 and 2014 and certainly wouldn't cost any more than that.
I'm ambivalent about this. Gomes' production likely wouldn't help much. On the other hand, he could provide some of the veteran leadership the team says they're looking for, and maybe some clubhouse levity as well.