Gomez Gone?

You may have already seen MetsBlog quoting Impacto Deportivo’s report that Carlos Gomez has been told to stop playing winter ball — feeding speculation that he is on his way to Minnesota as part of a deal for Johan Santana.

Naturally, I like the idea of the Cy Young Award-winning lefty coming to Flushing. However, I’m not certain I’m on board with a deal that sends Carlos Gomez and/or Fernando Martinez the other way. Yes, I know the Mets have to give up at least one of them (FMart or Gomez), but my hope has been that it would be the younger, more raw, FMart, rather than Gomez or both of them.

To me, Gomez is closer to MLB ready, and has already shown — at the big league level — at least three tools: speed, arm, and fielding prowess. All three of those tools are above average; some might say they are outstanding. Of course, the big question is will he hit — and I liked what I saw of his bat in his debut. Although there was a lot of swinging and missing, a lot of getting fooled, what I liked was his ability to think from at-bat to at-bat, and to slowly apply what he was learning. It looked to me like he was making adjustments every day; he didn’t perform exceptionally partially because he was way overmatched and partially because he was over-aggressive — typical of nearly all young hitters. No, he does not have the bat speed of a Lastings Milledge, but I think he has enough to be a strong MLB hitter. He may not win a batting title nor a homerun title, but I believe Carlos Gomez has a legitimate shot to be solid all-around player — similar to Carlos Beltran.

Now there’s where the issue lies — most likely, Gomez projects best as a centerfielder, where he could win a Gold Glove some day and won’t have to hit with great power to justify his place in the lineup. But that path is blocked by Beltran, and so it makes sense that the Mets are more easily parting with Gomez rather than F-Mart.

However, to me, F-Mart is still this huge mystery — all I’ve seen of him is the day he stood in left field for an inning in spring training when he was 17 years old. The reports are astounding — maybe too good. It would appear he has too much “potential” and not enough performance. In the long run, the Mets are probably better off keeping F-Mart, grooming him to take over a corner outfield spot by, say, 2010. But that seems so far away, and he seems to have a long way to get there.

As long as only one of Gomez / F-Mart exits — and not both — I’ll probably be very accepting of a trade for Johan Santana. If both go — as the Twins have supposedly demanded — it makes the Lastings Milledge trade all the more glaring. I’ll be surprised if the Mets finish the winter trading away all three of their future star outfield prospects — leaving the minor league system almost completely barren of positional prospects.

Methinks this deal is really, finally going to happen — possibly by next week. So what’s your thought? Should the Mets trade Carlos Gomez? F-Mart? Both? Neither? Post your comment below …

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Micalpalyn January 29, 2008 at 2:29 pm
    I decided to at least do a little research.


    Basically the picture in my eyes is that we will have to give up something of value for Santana. while we like Gomez, the picture out there is F-Mart> Gomez> milledge. interesting that the BA reference above accurately portrays Millz as a dead FB hitter. Another of the references compares him to Beltran, Abreu, and Cabrera.

    I liked Millz alot. I was a staunch defender/supporter. but like you I was wowed by what I saw in Gomez. If F-Mart is actually better, I think we all will be happy. What has me now intrigued is some ‘talk’ that F-Mart could reach the majors in 2008. With Pagan and Endy there is depth at CF (remember when we could not buy a CF’er).

    Anyway. I guess if/when the trade happens we can analyze the ransom paid.

  2. sincekindergarten January 29, 2008 at 2:36 pm
    I said this before, Joe, and I’ll say it again–Ryan Church, Phil Humber, Kevin Mulvey, and Aaron Heilman, for Johan–and Joe Nathan. This way, the Twins get two ML-ready players in the deal, plus a fairly good potching prospect for the rotation (Mulvey) and another who just might wind up being a decent bullpen guy (Humber). The Mets get a great setup guy who can step right in to the closer’s role that he had with the Twins (after Wags leaves), and their ass-kicking Cy Young winner.

    Then, I suppose that Billy Wagner’s comments about the Mets being the third-best team in the division have to be revised . . .

  3. isuzudude January 29, 2008 at 3:03 pm
    Unless you intend on adding Jose Reyes and John Maine to your proposal, SK, that trade will never happen. The Twins could net the 4 players you mentioned (or 4 players equal to them) for Nathan alone. I’d love to see Nathan come along with Johan in a deal, too, but being realistic, I don’t think it’s possible.

    If Omar is smart, his “best offer” will be the one we’ve been hearing the most about in recent weeks – that of Gomez, Mulvey, Humber, and Guerra. Not one player more, and not one upgrade more. It’s obvious at this point the Red Sox and Yankees have no interest giving up their top prospects for a $150-mil+ player, so the Mets should feel no pressure to give up anything more as they’d only be out-bidding themselves. The aforementioned package is more than enough of a return for Minnesota to make the deal a good one for them. The only reasons they’re playing possum is because 1) they’re hoping another team throws them a bigger bone for Johan, and 2) they’re hoping Omar gets over-anxious and “throws in” an F-Mart or Heilman to seal the deal. Resist the urge and wait for the Twins to hit the accept button.

  4. joe January 29, 2008 at 3:09 pm
    SK, it’s a nice deal for the Mets, but not for the Twins. Seriously now, if YOU had Johan Santana, would you trade him AND Joe Nathan for Heilman, Humber, Mulvey, and Church? Particularly when there are already offers on the table that include people such as Coco Crisp and Jon Lester — which didn’t include Nathan?

    I think we’re going to find out something very very soon.

  5. isuzudude January 29, 2008 at 4:52 pm
    OK, I hate to count my chickens before they hatch….but…

    WE GOT HIM!!!!


  6. julie January 29, 2008 at 5:33 pm
    I love a guy who smells his bat! I’ll miss Carlos Gomez.
  7. joe January 29, 2008 at 8:35 pm
    As much as I’ll love watching Johan, I also will miss Carlos Gomez … but the good thing is, he’ll likely get a really good chance to play everyday — with not much pressure — in Minnesota. Good luck Carlos!