Dec 15, 2015

Former Mets Outfielder & the Best Mets Trade That Didn't Happen: Carlos Gomez (2007)

Carlos Argelis Gomez was born on December 4th, 1985 in Santiago, Dominican Republic. The six foot three outfielder, was signed out of high school as an amateur free agent by the New York Mets in 2002.

In 2004 he was playing in the Rookie league for Kingsport & the Gulf Coast Mets. He hit .275 at A ball Hagerstown in 2005, getting promoted to AA Binghamton in 2006. There he stole 41 bases & hit .281 getting a lot of attention. In 2007 after a quick five games at St. Lucie, he was at AAA New Orleans where he hit .285 with 17 steals in 36 games.

Gomez was brought up in mid May, debuting against the Milwaukee Brewers in a 9-1 Mets win at Shea Stadium. Gomez impressed the fans with two hits, a double & two runs scored in the game. On May 16th, in his third game, he had another two hit game, driving in runs with a single & a double in a 8-1 Mets win at Shea over the Chicago Cubs. 

After a quick start his average fell off until mid June when he bottomed out at .218. On June 10th he hit his first career HR, it came at Tiger Stadium in Detroit in a 15-7 Mets loss. In the June subway series he had five hits over two games, including two in Oliver Perez's five hit shut out over Roger Clemens on June 15th, in the Bronx.

On June25th he hit a solo HR off Mike Maroth, in a 2-1 win at Shea Stadium over the rival St. Louis Cardinals. Gomez got his average back up to .279 and stole seven bases in the month. In July he was sent back down to sharpen his skills, returning in September. He struggled as did the Mets, as the team missed getting into the playoffs in the final days of the season. Gomez hit .232 with 2 HRs 3 doubles 12 RBIs & 12 stolen bases in 58 games.

He showed signs of a promising future & was highly touted by the club. That February of 2008, he was used to get Johan Santana to the Mets, as he, Philip Humber & Kevin Mulvey were sentto Minnesota in excahnge for the super star pitcher.

Gomez got the start in centerfield right away for the Twins in 2008. In May he became the first Twin since Kirby Puckett (1986) to hit for the cycle. In center, he led the AL in put outs (436) as well as errors (8while making nine assists (3rd in the league). He batted .258 with 7 HRs 24 doubles & 59 RBIs, but most impressive was his 33 stolen bases (7th in the AL).

In 2009 he missed some action as his average fell to .229, while he stole just 14 bases, for the first place Central Twins. In the ALDS loss he played in just one game going 0-4, with a walk & a run scored. After the season the Twins gave up on him, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for JJ Hardy. He split time with veteran Jim Edmonds in center and disappointed once again batting just .247.

In 2011 he was the Brewers main centerfielder & after 81 games broke his collarbone diving for a fly ball. He ended the season batting .225 with 8 HRs & 24 RBIs in 94 games.

Post Season: Gomez returned to action in September & was ready for the post season, as Milwaukee faced the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS. In Game #4 he had two hits including a two run HR off David Hernandez in the Brewers 10-6 loss at Arizona. Playing in three games of the series he got three hits in four at bats . In the NLCS loss to the St. Louis Cardinals he played in five games but got just two hits.

In 2012 Gomez improved to a .260 average, hitting 19 HRs 19 doubles & driving in 51 runs. He stole 37 bases getting caught just six times while scoring 72 runs.

By 2013 he was having himself an All Star year, finally playing up to the potential he was thought to be at. He had career highs in HRs (24) doubles (27) triples (10) RBIs (73) runs (80) & on base % (.338). He was forth in the NL with 40 steals getting caught just seven times for a 85% (4th best in the NL). On the down side he struck out 146 times (6th in the NL).

In centerfield his superior range & strong arm had him win the Gold Glove Award. He made 12 assists (2nd in the NL) posting a .988 fielding% leading the league in put outs as well. Gomez was honored with an All Star appearance, getting a nice ovation from the New York fans at Citi Field.

Just before the All Star Game on July 8th, he robbed Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds a Game winning HR by leaping over the fence for the grab, sealing the 4-3 win.

Drama: On September 25th, he hit a HR off the Braves Paul Maholm in a 4-0 Brewers win. He stood & watched the ball go over the fence then slowly ran the bases while shouting at Maholm. Gomez later claimed it was pay back for a past game when Maholm had hit him with a pitch.

The incident caused a bench clearing brawl, after catcher Brian McCann blocked home plate getting an obstruction call. Gomez was fined one game by the Commissioner. 

In 2014 he got into another brawl with Travis Snider of the Pittsburgh Pirates, serving a three game suspension. Gomez claims he is prone to getting into fights because his androgen levels get high at times.

In 2014 he put up almost exact same numbers as in 2013, batting .284 with 73 RBIs both season with 23 HRs in 2014 & 24 HRs in 2013. He was 4th in the league in steals both years with 40 swipes in 2013 & 34 swipes in 2014.

Gomez began 2015 in Milwaukee, his sixth season there, as one of the teams star & top players. Gone were the Brewers playoff teams as they fell to a fourth place finish (68-94). At the trade deadline he was rumored to be coming to the New York Mets for the postseason run.

As the news spread a bit too prematurely, Gomez was snapping photos with his Brewer team mates on a flight, saying goodbye & posting the picture on line. Word came to Citi Field & the fans told Mets short stop Wilmer Flores he was being traded for Gomez. This led to Flores breaking down emotionally on the field & a new Mets hero was born.

The Mets did not like what they saw in Gomez' medical report & the trade was off. His personality issues may have also played a part in that decision. There was some negative press at first because the wash women in media must always cry about something, but it turned out to be the best trade the Mets may have never made in recent history. GM Sandy Alderson would acquire Yoenis Cespedes & others getting the Mets to the World Series.

Gomez ended up going to another good young ball club, the Houston Astros. There he hit .242 with 4 HRs 9 doubles & 13 RBIs in 41 games.

Post Season: In the AL Wild Card game he went 1-3 with an RBI. The troubled Gomez got into another shoving match with the losing AL New York teams catcher there as well. In the ALDS loss to the Kansas City Royals he went 3-12 (.250) with a HR in the Game #4 loss at Houston & two RBIs.

In an nine year career he is hitting .260 with 908 hits 173 doubles 103 HRs 221 stolen bases 400 RBIs & a .314 on base %. In the outfield he has a .985 fielding % & has made 52 assists.

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