Brewers Extend Carlos Gomez

The Milwaukee Brewers have announced a three-year, $24M extension to the contract of Carlos Gomez, locking up the speedster through 2016. But why should a Mets fan care?

For one, Gomez is a former Met, and there are some fans who like to keep tabs on players developed by the system. More importantly, I point this out to people who have suggested that Gomez could be a free-agent target of the Mets next winter. Obviously, that’s no longer an option. Some have similarly pointed to the expiring contracts of Jacoby Ellsbury, Robinson Cano, Tim Lincecum, and other gems, as ideal players for whom the Mets can spend all those millions that will be freed up when the noose of Johan Santana‘s (and to a lesser extent, Jason Bay‘s) contract is removed from payroll. It’s a great theory: huge sums of money come off the books, so the Mets can spend for big-time free-agents. Unfortunately, there are eight months between now and when those impending, high-impact free agents become available — plenty of time for their current teams to negotiate extensions. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, says Farmer Brown.

Another reason Mets fans should care about the Gomez extension is because it will impact the cost of the few free-agent centerfielders who will be on the market next winter. The pool is now one center-fielder short, and when supply is shortened, demand (and price) increases. That pool could get considerably smaller very quickly if the A’s exercise their option for 2014 on the contracts of Chris Young and/or Coco Crisp (the Mariners have a 2014 option on Franklin Gutierrez as well). Michael Bourn at 4/$48M may seem like a bargain when we see the numbers that could be thrown at Ellsbury and Curtis Granderson — who could very well be the only center fielders available via free agency next winter.

Of course, Mets fans need not be concerned about the demand for center fielders if Collin Cowgill or Kirk Nieuwenhuis has a breakout year, or if Matt Den Dekker learns to make more contact.

Yes, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here — not much point worrying about next winter before even know what’s happening on Opening Day. But, it helps to be aware of a situation that will take eight months to develop (and there isn’t much else to write about — until we get more details on David Wright‘s injury).

What’s your thought? Were you hoping to see Carlos Gomez available next winter? Should the Mets be concerned about center field beyond 2013? Do you think the Mets should have tried a bit harder to sign Michael Bourn? Answer in the comments.

2013 Spring Training

About the Author

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.

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