The Mets and Indians have engaged in trade talks involving catcher Yan Gomes, according to SNY.tv’s Andy Martino. Reports from earlier in the winter indicated that Cleveland was open to offers for some of its higher-paid veteran players, and while much of that speculation has centered around the Tribe’s available starting pitchers, Gomes has also generated “significant trade interest.”
Gomes would be a particularly good fit on a Mets team that is looking for an upgrade behind the plate. With Travis d’Arnaud recovering from Tommy John surgery (the latest in a long string of injuries for d’Arnaud), Kevin Plawecki and Tomas Nido are New York’s top two catching options, leaving lots of room for improvement. Gomes would bring not just solid defense and game-calling to the mix, but also a revived bat that saw him hit .266/.313/.449 with 16 homers in 2018, following three seasons of below-average offensive production. Since payroll is always a factor for the Mets, Gomes is also an attractive option due to a reasonable contract — $7MM in 2019, then a $9MM club option for 2020 ($1MM buyout) and an $11MM club option for 2021 (with another $1MM buyout).
Signing free agents like Yasmani Grandal or Wilson Ramos would cost the Mets much more money, though obviously the team would have to part with assets to pry Gomes out of Cleveland. The Mets are short on minor league depth, though the Tribe is probably looking for a more immediately helpful return for Gomes than just prospects, as the Indians fully intend to make another postseason appearance in 2019. Cleveland has a need for outfielders, though it would surely take more than just Gomes for the Mets to part with Michael Conforto or Brandon Nimmo.
The Indians and Mets collaborated on a notable trade in August 2017, which send Jay Bruce to Cleveland. The two sides also came close to finalizing a deal last offseason that would’ve sent Jason Kipnis to New York, before Mets ownership reportedly nixed the trade for financial reasons. While Kipnis is still with the Tribe, it isn’t clear if he would still be on the Mets’ radar now that Brodie Van Wagenen has taken over as New York’s general manager.