One of four Brewers eligible for arbitration, Carlos Gomez would have had to exchange salary numbers with the Brewers on Friday. Instead, the two sides agreed to a one-year deal on Thursday to avoid arbitration. Adam McCalvy says Gomez will make $4.3 million in 2013, his final year before free agency.
While he began last season in a platoon with Nyjer Morgan, Gomez will head into camp as the team’s undisputed #1 centerfielder (although he’ll likely miss much of spring training playing for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic). Still just 27 — and represented by Boras — Gomez will be playing for a big payday in free agency. That may not be as crazy as it sounds if he can prove that the power spike was not a fluke, keep improving his plate discipline (his K% dropped from 24.8% in 2011 to 21.7% last year), and play his usual great defense (+23 in Defensive Runs Saved as a Brewer).Gomez made just north of $1.95 million last season as he enjoyed a breakout season, hitting .260/.305/.463 with career highs in home runs (19) and stolen bases (37). He and Mike Trout were the only two players in baseball last year with 15+ home runs and 35+ stolen bases, a point that’s probably tucked away somewhere in Scott Boras’ binder on Gomez.
As was the case last year, what Gomez will make in 2013 is well worth it for the defensive value alone. This year, though, Doug Melvin and the Brewers will have to decide if the glove (and whatever gravy offense he provides) is worth what Boras will be looking for on the open market.
John Axford, Burke Badenhop and Marco Estrada remain as the Brewers’ arbitration-eligible players.