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Orioles have shown interest in outfielder Jonny Gomes, source says

Free-agent outfielder Jonny Gomes.
Free-agent outfielder Jonny Gomes. (Kristopher Skinner, McClatchy-Tribune)

The Orioles have inquired about veteran free-agent outfielder-designated hitter Jonny Gomes, according to an industry source.

Replenishing an outfield that lost Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis last week is a priority for the Orioles at this week's winter meetings.

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Gomes could fill the Orioles' need for a right-handed hitter who can slot into the corner outfield spots or at designated hitter. Gomes has a career .376 on-base percentage against left-handed pitching and posted a .373 mark this past season.

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said Monday that he ideally would like to add one left-handed hitter and one right-handed hitter who could contribute in the outfield and at designated hitter.

Gomes hit .234/.327/.330 with six home runs and 37 RBIs in 112 games last season between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics. Gomes was part of the trade that sent left-hander Jon Lester to Oakland in exchange for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

The Orioles also could sign Gomes, 34, to a shorter deal instead of a long-term one that the club has been hesitant to give this offseason. Both Cruz and Markakis left Baltimore to sign a four-year deal elsewhere.

The Orioles are familiar with Gomes, who spent several years in the American League East, first with the Tampa Bay Rays and later with the Red Sox. He has played on two World Series teams and was on Boston's 2013 title team.

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