On Friday night, Jonny Gomes came up with his biggest hit of the season for the Boston Red Sox with a two-run home run in the sixth inning that would propel the team to a 5-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Despite the big hit, there has been a lot of trade speculation regarding Gomes, with the Red Sox on the outside looking in of a playoff spot.
Several teams, including the Royals have been rumored to be interested in Gomes due to his veteran experience and his ability to hit left-handed pitching well. If traded by July 31st, Alex Hassan is a viable candidate to replace Gomes on the 25-man roster. Hassan, who has now homered in four consecutive games for Triple-A Pawtucket this week has turned it on offensively, hitting .367 last month and .382 so far in July. Overall, in 76 games with the Pawsox, he has hit .285 with six HR and 40 RBI including posting a .436 average over his past 39 at-bats. Against lefties, he has hit them at a .341 clip with a .541 slugging percentage.
Hassan has certainly paid his dues at the minor league level and a trade of Gomes could allow him to showcase not only his excellent approach at the plate but also his versatility. With the ability to play both outfield corner spots and some first base, Hassan could give the Red Sox a versatile player they could be looking for going into next season.Despite being a great clubhouse presence, it would be wise for Boston to deal Gomes, who is a free agent at season’s end and possibly even Mike Carp to a contender to allow Hassan and Mookie Betts to display what they can provide Boston for the remainder of the season and beyond.
At best, Hassan can become a solid platoon or fourth outfielder at the Major League level and his offensive approach is something the Red Sox should take a long, hard look at during the final two months of season. It could be a big payoff for the organization if Hassan gets the opportunity he deserves.