By Jared Lankes
It has been reported by Buster Olney that the Pirates are among the teams looking at reliever Jeanmar Gomez.
If you remember, Jeanmar Gomez was on the Pirates in 2013 and 2014 after being acquired for next to nothing. He was pretty effective for the Pirates but was let go anyways. He’s pitched pretty well for the Phillies the last two seasons, obtaining the closer’s role this season. In such a role, he has had an extreme amount of success. He has a 2.76 ERA and 26 saves for the Phillies, who seem to be slipping out of the race once again.
His other stats don’t look bad either. His FIP is 3.52 which isn’t bad; he has good control as he’s only walked 2.2 batters per 9 innings. On the contrary, he strikes out just 5.7 per 9, which is odd for a closer. He also keeps the ball in the ballpark, with a HR rate of just 0.6. And as we know, the ability to keep the ball in the park in Citizens Bank Park is rather impressive. Combined with all this, he is only making $1.4M this year and is arbitration eligible one more time.
Gomez might not fit in this bullpen, at least not this year. He’s been so successful towards the back of the bullpen, but the Pirates already have one of the better backend bullpen trio already with Feliz, Watson, and Melancon. Gomez could certainly take a spot with Watson and someone else in a backend bullpen slot next year with Melancon and Feliz as impending free agents. I see the fit next year, but not this year unless if they want to use him as a guy that can come in and give the other guys a break, which isn’t a bad idea. The other idea thrown around in this is if they are thinking about trading Melancon and replacing him with Gomez, which is highly speculated but I don’t think it’ll happen.
Gomez would provide the Pirates with a familiar face in a new role. He’d give the Pirates another late game guy to roll with. However, I think it’s more prudent that the team get a lefty reliever to help with matchups rather than another righty.
I don’t see the Pirates getting Gomez. I just don’t think the fit is there. It doesn’t hurt to look I guess. This bullpen could stand for an upgrade even though they’ve done a better job lately. I still sustain that another lefty would be more favorable, but anything to give this team a nice additional, stable bullpen piece I’m all for.