OF Gomez: 'It's a dream' to be back with Mets

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Thursday, March 7, 2019

Veteran outfielder Carlos Gomez has signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets, saying "it's a dream" to return to the team with whom he broke into the majors in 2007.

"Excited and anxious," Gomez told reporters Thursday. "My goal is to be a part of this team. Make the team and help."

If added to the 40-man roster, Gomez would receive a $1.25 million salary while in the major leagues and have the chance to earn $250,000 in performance bonuses for plate appearances: $50,000 for 350 and for each additional 50 through 550.

Gomez said he had a few minor league offers from other teams, but he chose the Mets because "I just go to the team that I think I'll be more close to a championship."

The 33-year-old Gomez, who is entering his 13th season, had a rough 2018 season with the Tampa Bay Rays after signing a one-year deal for $4 million. He had a career-low .208 batting average with nine home runs, 32 RBIs and 12 stolen bases.

His frustration was highlighted on July 4, when he smashed a water cooler in the dugout with his bat and then punched a larger cooler after striking out.

Gomez signed with the Mets in 2002 and made his big league debut with New York in 2007. He was traded to Minnesota before the 2008 season in the deal that brought pitcher Johan Santana to New York.

He became part of Mets lore on July 29, 2015, when New York agreed to send Wilmer Flores and pitcher Zack Wheeler to Milwaukee for Gomez. Flores was at shortstop and Mets fans gave him a standing ovation after learning of the swap. TV cameras caught him crying while in the field in the eighth inning.

The trade was never completed, and two nights later Flores hit a game-ending 12th-inning home run off Washington's Felipe Rivero. Flores remained a fan favorite in New York until he was cut by the Mets last November. He signed with Arizona in January.

An All-Star in 2013 and '14 with the Milwaukee Brewers, Gomez has a career .253 average with 142 home runs and 536 RBIs. The native of the Dominican Republic has also played for the Astros and Rangers during his career.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.