Jonny Gomes said he’s aware of, but not alarmed by, the possibility of being dealt. (AP)
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Who’s next? It’s a question that hovers over the Red Sox roster right now, and will continue to do so until the trade deadline passes on Thursday. All potential free agents are on high alert, given the Red Sox’ stated intention of putting themselves in the best position possible come April 2015.
Outfielder Jonny Gomes, in the second season of the two-year, $10 million contract he signed with the Red Sox on his birthday following the 2012 campaign, is aware of that fact. The possibility is not alarming, as Gomes already has experienced a mid-year relocation, going from the Reds to the Nationals for a pair of minor leaguers in 2011.
The 33-year-old, hitting .240/.333/.363 with six homers, but a robust .315/.410/.450 line against lefties, clearly wouldn’t be surprised if he were dealt to a contender in need of a right-handed bat with some thump. He’s not eager to be dealt, but he’s prepared if it happens, and suggests that his on-field performance won’t be impacted by the team for whom he spends the rest of the year.
“The first time I got traded, it was extremely mixed emotions of a team, not necessarily giving up, but feels you’re replaceable. At the same time, out of all the guys available in the trade market, this other team picked you,” said Gomes. “You never want to be given up on. But there are situations where you’re not being given up on but the business side stands out.
“This happens every year. This isn’t my first rodeo with this and me,” he added. “You truly have got to wait for the moment, play for the moment. I’ve seen guys get wrapped up in it and fail. I’ve seen guys try too hard. I’ve seen guys shine, get traded and they go somewhere else and lay an egg because they were putting on a front. That’s one thing that won’t happen with me.
“I signed a two-year deal here. I would love to fulfill that agreement that I signed,” he added. “But I feel the same way that [Jake Peavy, dealt to the Giants on Saturday] probably feels. I truly hope that if I leave, it would be to help the organization.”
Whether traded or not, Gomes said that he represents a known commodity — whether to the Red Sox or a team acquiring him.
“One thing I can guarantee, if I’ve got a uni, I’m going all out. I truly don’t have that in me to play any different, whether it’s the trade deadline or not the trade deadline, 20 games out or 20 games up,” said Gomes. “I’ve been here a year and a half. I don’t think people have seen any difference in styles of play for me — swing hard, run hard and overly aggressive mistakes. At the end of the day, I’ll take that over the other way.”