Veteran outfielder Jonny Gomes is seeking a return to the big leagues after a brief stint in Japan with the Rakuten Golden Eagles did not work out as anticipated.
"I hated not being able to talk to all my teammates because of the language [barrier]," Gomes said in an interview with Fox Sports. "I would just sit in front of my locker solo and sit in the dugout and couldn't talk."
Gomes, 35, who joined Rakuten after signing a one-year deal reportedly worth $2 million guaranteed with another $1 million in incentives, said he was also distracted by the major earthquake that hit Japan last month.
"If something happened, I couldn't communicate," Gomes told Fox Sports. "Everything else was awesome. Great team, city, food, all of the above."
Gomes was a World Series champion with the Boston Red Sox in 2013 and Kansas City Royals in 2015. He has played with seven teams in Major League Baseball, serving primarily as a role player in recent years. But he is known as a great clubhouse presence and made memorable speeches at both the Red Sox and Royals championship celebrations.
In 13 seasons, he has batted .242 with 162 home runs and 526 RBIs. In 2015, he batted a combined .213 with seven home runs and 26 RBIs in 95 games for the Atlanta Braves and Kansas City.
"Yeah, I want to play," Gomes said. "I want to play when I'm 50, but I understand where I am and where the game is right now.
"I also know I can bring way more to a team than my numbers, and I don't think that's blowing smoke."