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Jonny Gomes… and MLB Rosters

January 23, 2015

Jonny Gomes has landed in Atlanta (1 year, $4M; 2016 option) and it’s a nice bit of business for the Braves. Gomes has always hit lefties well, so a platoon spot in the NL always made sense. We say the NL because, with no DH, there’s an extra bench spot available — for teams that choose not to use it on a pitcher.

So I got to thinking… why not expand MLB rosters to 27 or so from 25? The players’ union wouldn’t object… more jobs. The clubs should object, because their overall outlay would go up unless they wanted it to.

Some people might argue it helps big clubs: instead of rostering 25 of the most expensive guys, they have 27 of the most expensive guys. Perhaps. But with platoons, mid-market teams can now build a stud for $10-$15M.

Adam Lind had a .942 OPS vs righties last year. Jeff Baker was .824 vs lefties. Together, in 2015, they’re on for $9.6M. Adrian Gonzalez had an OBP of .817 last year (he’s been in the low .800s for three years running), and he’ll make $21M next year.

This would not only let mid-market teams compete more effectively, it might resort to more offence. People are complaining about how offence is down, and this could address that. (Me, I’m not sure… I mostly want games to speed up. More offence doesn’t necessarily imply a faster game, but if it’s more watchable, time will fly by. We highlighted last year’s 3 hour, 21 minute, 9-inning 3-2 game between the Rays and Mariners… THAT’S gotta go.)

Good luck to Jonny Gomes, platooning with Zoilo Almonte.

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