ST. PETERSBURG -- The Tampa Bay Rays have declined to tender a 2009 contract to outfielder/designated hitter Jonny Gomes.
Gomes, 28, has spent parts of six seasons in the major leagues, all with the Rays. In 2008 he hit .182 (28-154) in 77 games with the Rays with eight home runs and 14 RBI. He started 45 games at DH, right field and left field. The right-handed hitter made the Opening Day roster and was optioned to Durham (AAA) on August 5 before earning a September recall.
Gomes' 66 career home runs rank fifth in Rays history and first among Rays right-handed hitters. He holds the franchise record for most times hit by a pitch (35) and catwalks hit at Tropicana Field (eight). His 21 home runs as a rookie in 2005 are a career high, and stood as a club rookie record until passed by Evan Longoria this season. Gomes was an 18th-round selection by the Rays in the 2001 June Draft.