Gomez signed a three-year, $24 million extension to remain with the Brewers through the 2016 season. The deal does not start until 2014 because Gomez is still under contract for this upcoming season. The 27-year old would have been a free agent after this year, but Milwaukee understands how valuable the speedster is, and did not want to take any chances on the open market.
The six-year veteran had a breakout year in 2012 in which he batted .260 with 19 home runs, 51 RBIs, 19 doubles, four triples, 72 runs and an impressive team-high 37 stolen bases in 415 at-bats. These numbers far exceed what he has been able to accomplish since being called up to the big leagues in 2007.
Gomez had been projected to be the everyday starter in center field coming into this season, and the new contract certainly confirms that. The Brewers have used a platoon in center field the past few years because Gomez has had his fair share of struggles at the plate. Ironically, the right-handed batter has been better against right-handed pitchers than the left-handed starters he would be put in the lineup to face.
Since Gomez was traded to Milwaukee, he has batted .247 with 14 home runs, 36 RBIs, 19 doubles, four triples and 18 stolen bases in 340 at-bats against left-handers. Against righties, he has posted a .248 batting average, 18 homers, 63 RBIs, 22 doubles, four triples and 53 stolen bases in 597 at-bats.
Obviously, he has been more productive against right-handers due to the fact that he has been to the plate 257 more times. However, I find it interesting that his batting average is actually one point better.
The Dominican native is a phenomenal defensive outfielder who uses his incredible speed to make unbelievable plays. The Brewers are now hoping that his offensive game will improve from last year so he can use his quickness on the base paths more often.