Struggling to get consistent production from right field and in need of another solid right-handed bat in their lineup, the Kansas City Royals have placed Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes on their list of potential trade targets, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
The Royals' need stems from the poor production that Nori Aoki has brought to the table in his first season with the team, hitting .260 with no home runs and 14 RBI in 71 games. While he's failed to bring any power to the plate for Kansas City, the biggest concern has been his struggles simply getting on base. The Royals have been platooning Aoki in recent weeks - most notably with Raul Ibanez - but Gomes could potentially help resolve a gap in the team's lineup.
Gomes has struggled as well this season, hitting just .234 with five home runs and 30 RBI in 67 games, but his splits are very pronounced. Against left-handed pitchers he's averaging .309 with a .429 slugging percentage, against right-handers just .156 with a .267 slugging percentage. Three of his five home runs on the year have also come against lefties.
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Boston has slipped into a virtual tie with the Rays for last place in the AL East, while the Royals stand just two and a half games outside of the second Wild Card spot. Gomes isn't an expensive piece of the roster - he's owed just over $2 million for the remainder of the season - and he's one that could be replaced from within.
- Aaron Somers