OAKLAND, Calif. - Jonny Gomes takes pride in his versatility. He can play the corner outfield, and he's an experienced designated hitter.
That certainly will be helpful for Oakland manager Bob Melvin with a young roster.
The A's and Gomes finalized a US$1 million, one-year contract Thursday after reaching a preliminary agreement last week. He will bring a veteran presence as well as key depth.
Gomes already has a nice fan base in the Bay Area. He grew up in nearby Petaluma, where he is loved.
"Everybody's really excited. It's kind of ironic telling the family ... starting my pro career in Tampa, it's about as far away you can get from home, people say, 'Oh, you do play,'" Gomes said. "I'm getting tons of positive feedback."
The 31-year-old hit .209 with 14 home runs and 43 RBIs last year for Cincinnati and Washington in his ninth major league season. He will provide outfield depth for the rebuilding A's, who haven't had a winning record or made the playoffs since being swept in the 2006 AL championship series by Detroit.
"I'm not rebuilding — that's how I keep explaining it," Gomes said. "My role is how it is every single year, when my number's called I want to be ready."
Oakland's starting outfield is slated as newly acquired Seth Smith in left, re-signed Coco Crisp in centre and new acquisition Josh Reddick in right. Collin Cowgill, acquired from Arizona in December, also is in the mix off the bench.
Gomes is prepared to play right, left or designated hitter — while also providing a clubhouse presence.
"I'm well travelled and have been under some great managers," he said.
Pulling on the green and gold at FanFest this weekend will mean a lot to Gomes, who loved the Bay Area sports teams growing up but especially the A's after they won the earthquake-interrupted 1989 World Series against the San Francisco Giants.
"I was wearing a whole lot of A's gear growing up — don't know how you couldn't with the Bash Brothers and Rickey Henderson," he said. "Winning the '89 World Series helped with jumping on that bandwagon."
The A's cleared room on the 40-man roster for Gomes on Thursday by designating infielder Adrian Cardenas for assignment.
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