The July trading frenzy continues to ramp up this week, and the latest move sent Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jonny Gomes and cash to the Washington Nationals for a pair of minor league players.
Reggie Von Bartles
Trading Places: Gomes Sent to DC, Alonso Called Up
Tuesday July 26th, 2011
Gomes, 30, is hitting .211/.336/.399 with a .735 OPS this season. In his nine big league seasons, Gomes is a career .244 hitter with 115 home runs. Gomes has been used in a platoon role this season with the Reds, usually starting against left-handed pitchers. Against lefties in his career, he's hitting .281/.376/.510 in 862 plate appearances. It's likely that the Nationals will use Gomes in the same role for the remainder of the season.
The Nationals sent Double-A Harrisburg outfielder Bill Rhinehart and Single-A Hagerstown left-handed pitcher Chris Manno to the Reds for Gomes. Rhinehart, 26, is a career .261/.331/.458 in five minor league seasons. Manno, 22, has been terrific for Hagerstown this season, posting a 1.04 ERA and striking out 40.1% of all hitters he faced this season. Neither players were considered top prospects.
Gomes will join an already crowded outfield in Washington and will likely platoon in left field with left-handed hitter Laynce Nix. Nix, 30, is hitting .267/.308/.483 this season, but is battling a sore right Achilles' tendon.
However, with Gomes projected to be a Type-B free agent at the end of the year, the Nats are likely intrigued with the extra pick the team will receive if Gomes signs with another team.
Soon after the trade was announced between the two teams, the Reds announced that they were calling up prospect Yonder Alonso. Alonso, 24, is hitting .296/.374/.486 with a .860 OPS in 91 games for Triple-A Louisville. With Joey Votto securing first for the Reds, Alonso switched from first base to the outfield, playing 92 games the past two seasons. Baseball America ranked Alonso the No.4 best prospect in Cincinnati's minor league system prior to the start of the season. They mention Alonso's offensive approach as "having a good feel for the strike zone and uses the entire field."
Cincinnati will likely give Yonder most of the playing time in left field with Chris Heisey and Fred Lewis remaining on the bench.
For fantasy purposes, Gomes' status doesn't change for fantasy owners now that he's playing for the Nationals. The big winner here is Yonder Alonso. He's a must add in NL-only leagues and should be monitored in deeper mixed leagues based on his playing time.
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