Detroit Tigers: Pros and Cons of Acquiring Carlos Gomez

Aug 16, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros outfielder Carlos Gomez against the Detroit Tigers at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 16, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros outfielder Carlos Gomez against the Detroit Tigers at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Tigers centerfielder Cameron Maybin recently hit the disabled list. While he’ll hopefully be back soon, the team is using Tyler Collins and Andrew Romine in his stead. Is Carlos Gomez a fit?

Detroit Tigers fans have seen a number of different players man center field this season. With Maybin injured, Anthony Gose started the season as the team’s primary option in the center.

However, the former Blue Jay struggled mightily in his sophomore campaign in the Motor City, hitting just .209 with a paltry .287 on-base percentage. The 25-year-old also posted .341 slugging percentage, scored just 11 runs and struck out 38 times in only 91 at-bats. He’s currently at Double-A.

After Gose’s struggles, the team used a number of players who are better suited at other positions as stand-in center fielders.

Tyler Collins and Andrew Romine have seen a combined 32 games at the position, while Justin Upton saw six games of action in center.

While the results with that group have been mixed, Maybin seems to be the answer in centerfield. The argument can be made that he’s the best center fielder Detroit has seen since Curtis Granderson.

In 63 games, the former top prospect is hitting a blistering .325 with a .394 on-base percentage. He’s also added 43 runs scored, 29 RBI, 26 walks and 13 stolen bases, serving as the perfect top-of-the-order catalyst behind Ian Kinsler.

However, with Maybin again on the disabled list, the team is once again turning to Collins and Romine in center field. Detroit could clearly use another centerfield option to help out the Major League club, and as it happens, one is available.

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The Houston Astros made waves around the baseball world when the team designated two-time All Star Carlos Gomez for assignment. Gomez, a longtime center fielder, was just dealt from Milwaukee to Houston at the 2015 trade deadline in a trade that netted the Brewers a haul of quality prospects.

Is Gomez a fit with the Tigers?

Here are the pros and cons of acquiring the 30-year-old.

Pro: Upside, Upside and More Upside

While he’s struggled in Houston, Gomez isn’t too far removed from being on the elite center fielders in the league. From 2012 to 2015, the centerpiece of the Johan Santana trade averaged 77 runs scored, 63 RBI, 32 stolen bases, 27 doubles, 20 home runs and five triples per season.

Over that same span he hit .272 and compiled an 18.6 WAR. That WAR number included a staggering 8.5 number in 2013.

Gomez has also won a Gold Glove and is generally considered a borderline elite defender.

It is entirely possible that a change of scenery could help the former Brewer regain the form he showed in Milwaukee. That could come in Detroit.

Con: He’s Struggled Significantly in 2016

While Gomez could turn things around, it’s hard to overlook his struggles with Houston this season. In 85 games for the Astros, the center fielder has hit .210 with a .272 on-base percentage. His OPS is just .594, and he’s accumulated only 29 RBI, 27 runs scored, 16 doubles, 13 stolen bases, five home runs and a triple. This is all with a .300 BABIP.

The veteran has also struck out 100 times and posted a -0.8 WAR.

Pro: Potential Impact Bench

Even if Gomez doesn’t return to the form he displayed from 2012 to 2015, the outfielder would still be a valuable addition to Detroit’s roster if he improved upon his current numbers. As a bench alternative to Maybin down the stretch, the former Brewer could make a difference as a late-game pinch runner or pinch hitter.

With 243 stolen bases to his name—not to mention 429 RBI—the center fielder could provide a boost to Detroit’s bench.

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As of late, Collins hasn’t looked out of place on defense and has made positive contributions at the dish. In other words, he isn’t going anywhere. Gomez would be more of an upgrade over Mike Aviles.

Andrew Romine and Casey McGehee can handle backup duties across the infield, while Gomez’ addition would allow Collins to play more in the outfield corners.

Con: Trade Cost

Per a tweet from’s Mark Saxon, “A trade for Gomez must be completed by next Thursday or he will be a free agent but he’s expected to be traded.”

Detroit doesn’t exactly have the most loaded farm system, and despite his struggles, the Astros probably won’t just give away Gomez. The Tigers could offer Gose as part of any deal.

Gose was previously dealt to Houston in the Roy Oswalt trade. Like Gomez, a change of scenery could benefit him.

What’s more, with Colby Rasmus and Preston Tucker on the disabled list, the Astros are down to Tony Kemp, Jake Marisnick and George Springer in the outfield.

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In Conclusion

Gomez is certainly a fit for the Detroit Tigers if the team acquires him more as a bench cog than a player to lean on in centerfield. Cameron Maybin is already established, and Gomez could thrive in a robust lineup with less pressure on his shoulders.