Carlos Gomez and the Mets are working toward a minor-league contract, sources said Friday, a potential reunion four years in the making and almost 17 years after the outfielder first signed with the team.
Gomez, 33, would be the third veteran outfielder to join the club on such a deal, along with Rajai Davis, who is off to a strong spring training start, and Gregor Blanco. The Mets don’t have any major-league outfield jobs up for grabs unless they shift Jeff McNeil back to the infield or part with another outfielder, such as Juan Lagares.
Last season with the Rays, Gomez had a .208/.298/.336 slash line, nine homers and 32 RBIs in 118 games.
In July 2015, the Mets almost acquired Gomez from the Brewers for Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores, a deal nixed by the Mets because of Gomez’s medical history. The almost-trade famously brought Flores to tears on the field as the Mets played the Padres at Citi Field.
The Mets signed Gomez in 2002 out of the Dominican Republic. He played for the Mets in 2007 before getting traded to the Twins as part of the package for Johan Santana.
Strong start for Smith
Dominic Smith has his work cut out for him in trying to unseat first-base favorite Pete Alonso, but he’s been making the most of his opportunity. Smith had two singles and an RBI in Friday’s 7-1 win over the Tigers at Publix Field and is 5-for-8.
Given all the time he missed to injury in spring training last year — as well as being benched in the Grapefruit League opener for showing up late — this year is a significant upgrade.
“They told me, since the offseason, that I had a legitimate shot of making the club if I handle my business,” Smith said. “Come into the spring and work hard. So that’s what I pretty much tried to do all offseason. I feel comfortable up there, I’m swinging at good pitches and good things are happening. I feel back to myself.”
Said Mickey Callaway, “He’s making a big statement. He’s going out there relaxed. He’s playing great defense. He’s putting great swings on the ball.”
A final addendum, hopefully, to the Brandon Nimmo chicken saga: The source of Nimmo’s intestinal turmoil was not food poisoning, as initially thought, but a virus, according to Nimmo’s wife, Chelsea. She tweeted the info after Nimmo’s tests came back. “Cancel all the cooking lessons,” she wrote. “He’s good!” . . . The Mets hired Rafael Perez as director of international operations, the same role he had under Omar Minaya from 2005-11. Perez, who had been working at MLB, will help bridge the scouting and development departments at the Mets’ Dominican academy.