The Nationals have agreed to re-sign free-agent catcher Yan Gomes to a two-year, $10MM contract, Jeff Passan of ESPN reports. The pact also contains award bonuses for the Jet Sports Management client, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com tweets. He’s the latest notable catcher to come off the board in the past week, joining Yasmani Grandal (four years, $73MM to the White Sox), Travis d’Arnaud (two years, $16MM to the Braves) and Stephen Vogt (one year, $3MM to the Diamondbacks)
Gomes was one of the Nationals’ key pickups last offseason, when they acquired the 2018 All-Star in a trade with the Indians almost exactly one year ago (Nov. 30). While the Brazilian-born Gomes experienced his share of success in Cleveland, he wound up struggling somewhat during his first year in Washington. A poor first half doomed the 32-year-old to an uninspiring .223/.316/.389 batting line with 12 home runs in 358 plate appearances.
Behind the plate, Gomes did throw out 31 percent of would-be base-stealers, which ranked comfortably above the league-average mark of 26 percent, and establish himself as a favorite of star left-hander Patrick Corbin. Meanwhile, Baseball Prospectus assigned him above-average grades in the pitch-blocking department, but his framing left something to be desired.
It wasn’t a banner regular season for Gomes, nor was he an offensive hero in the playoffs, as he collected just seven hits (no home runs) in 29 at-bats. But he nonetheless received plenty of playing time behind the dish in the fall for the Nationals, who stunningly won their first-ever World Series title. Gomes and Kurt Suzuki divided reps at catcher from the beginning of the season through the end, and they figure to do the same in 2020 for a reasonable price.
The two-year, $10MM guarantee for Gomes matches the price the Nationals paid for Suzuki in free agency last season. It also represents a pay cut, at least on a per-annum basis, for Gomes. The Nats declined his $9MM option for next year shortly after their World Series triumph over the Astros.
While Washington’s catcher situation appears to be sorted out for next season, there’s plenty of other important business on the champions’ plate. The deep-pocketed franchise will presumably make a strong effort to re-sign two of the game’s premier free agents, third baseman Anthony Rendon and right-hander Stephen Strasburg. Not to be forgotten, the Nationals are also facing the departures of infielder Howie Kendrick, reliever Daniel Hudson and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, among others.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Good deal. Offense may perk up a bit and he provides defense. They should look at depth, if they can get their hands on a lefty or switch-hitting backstop.
Not a bad payday considering his age (for a catcher) and the down year he had.
Wow, thought it would’ve been more around the 7-8 range per year for such a short deal and catchers rolling off the market this fast. Zunino got 4.5
For 7-8 they would have just picked up his option. Pretty sure they paid him 1 to decline the 9.
I think he was a top 3 available catcher on the market. Could’ve parlayed into another 2 year deal with the option for a higher AAV. Maybe he’s just comfortable there
There’s still quite a few catchers out there. Maldonado, Castro, Chirinos. I think you’re seeing that the Nats and the Rays were comfortable going w guys who know the staff. That relationship is obviously not always the easiest thing to develop.
I don’t think Yan Gomes took a discount here. He’s 32. Maldonado only found himself a one year pact last season. They’re pretty comparable.
Gomes is way more accomplished and talented than Maldonado.
Not sure I agree. When a good catcher starts to slip in his early 30s, often there is no coming back from there. I’m thinking of Lucroy and Wieters. Possible he bounces back with the bat, but he’d be a fool to expect too much more.
Nice for him and the team.
Vandals Took The Handles
Literally nothing good has been written about Yan this off-season. An article here today about the state of Catching had him mentioned after about 20 candidates as a “bouceback candidate”.
The Catcher is the most important position player on the team. In addition to taking a physical beating that no other player comes close to, the man has to run a pitching staff and run a game. Nonsense such as “pitch framing” (how about using that stat on pitchers? How many times do they have strikes called balls and visa versa?); throwing out runners (I knew at age 8 from listening to major league games that a base runner stole on the Pitcher, not the Catcher); and his batting line is not what makes a Catcher.
A team winning is what makes a Catcher.
Pitching is the name of the game. And no teams pitching staff succeeds without a quality Catcher or two, as well as a solid defense.
The Nationals won the WS this year. Gomes caught the deciding game 7. He split the Catching with Kurt, and caught every inning of Corbin until a one-inning relief appearance in one of the WS games. Corbin’s bread-and-butter pitch is a slider that often hits the dirt. Gomes is one of the best in MLB at smothering those and stopping runners from advancing. He handled the rest of the staff quite well, and got his share of clutch hits.
He’s best splitting Catching duties at his age. Staying with the Nationals is best for both him and them. And the price the Nationals got him for might be one of the best contracts a team will sign a player to this off-season.
Solid comment here.
dynamite drop in monty
Why do you capitalize “Catching”. It makes your already borderline maniacal rant even more off putting.
Vandals Took The Handles
@dynamite drop in monty;
I’ll stop it.
But catching (and pitching) can refer to a vocation or a physical act.
As for my “rant” – try reading up on Branch Rickey some day. I hardly went into a corner and figured out the stuff I wrote without playing and learning from people that learned from people that learned from people that learned from Branch Rickey.
Branch Rickey is great. The game has evolved though. I stopped reading when you called pitch framing “nonsense.” Either you’re over 50 or sabrmetrics are too much for you to understand.
BR invented minor-league player development while he was with StL Cardinals.
Vandals Took The Handles
As for lets find out about “pitch framing” for pitchers……
The statistic can easily be found and computed.
Is there a correlation between borderline calls a veteran pitcher gets but not a youngster? Are pitchers that are respectful of umps and those that rag on them getting the same calls? What about late breaking balls – those that speed up or change direction just as they approach the plate which are more difficult for an ump to focus on? Or how about a pitcher that is wily enough to understand where certain umps have a blind spot to what sort of pitchers, and use that to change an AB?
By the way – with all the people MLB FO’s employ to look at this and that, I don’t doubt that at least the better FO’s have their own snippets of code to break that information down by pitchers…if not all.
It’s a nice little edge that night help at times. But the baseball media has picked up on this silly tidbit because they still have not figured out how to easily quantify the intangible – and outsized – influence a catcher has on a baseball game and a season.
Yet another reason why defensive statistics are so misleading.
Its Yan Gomes, relax. They thought so much of him they declined his option and took a risk at losing him.
Yeah. They took a risk declining a 9 million dollar option. Im not so sure their own team even appreciated Gomes as much as you did in that post.
Vandals Took The Handles
Good point on your part. As usual.
That’s why the Nationals have been interviewing and wowing other MLB catchers that are available this off-season. And why they locked Gomes up in late-November.
I think the team likes him more. $10 million times more.
Certainly there’s value in familiarity. I’m not disagreeing with you. It was the multi paragraph love fest that I was just yanking your chain on. Relax. I come in peace.
It’s a fine deal. No catchers left on the market can hit and he’s a solid defensive C. Rapport with a staff is worth something that doesn’t come up in stats too. You don’t want a Wilson Ramos with the Mets situation.
That is a perfect insight. The board needs more people that think things out just as you did. Right on.
I would have rather see them work out a deal for 1 of the Jays young catchers – Pineda is still a long ways away
Gomes only costs money, and Shapiro would tell Atkins to ask for too much for either Jansen or McGuire.
We do have two promising prospects in the system. Given the age of both our MLB catchers this year it looks like a two year fill in signing.
Catchers are going like hot cakes and getting some serious bread. That Realmuto trade is looking better and better
An extension by the Phillies this offseason would make that trade look even better. Realmuto would be an extremely wise investment going forward, not ‘stupid’ money.
Vandals Took The Handles
Hate to tell you this……
But Realmuto has the Phillies so far over a barrel that they’re totally stuck. They’re now at a point where whether they re-sign him or don’t re-sign him, their future is limited.
It’s understandable that the Phillies flash GM has been making noises about not spending lots more money in free agency.
Grandel got $18.5m for 4 years. Realmuto is younger and better. He deserves more per year and more years. He also wants to win. Now. If the Phillies pay him what he can get as FA to keep him, they’ll be dependent on their low-cost youngsters to produce over the next 3-5 years due to salary limitations. Realmuto knows that most of the youngsters are not all that good.
Whether it was the FO or the owner forcing the issue, the fact is that the Phillies began their push too soon after starting their rebuild. They needed to wait at least another year or two to get more homegrown players up and developed.
Like the Padres and Cubs, they’ve painted themselves into a corner. It will be interesting to see what they do to try to do to get on course. The Braves did the right thing – they signed Donaldson and Keuchel for one year, got what they could, and are now promoting their youngsters. The Phillies don’t have quality young players to promote, so they have to give long-term contracts to veterans that go up each year while the veterans play goes down each year.
Rubén Amaro, Jr. redux.
like the Cubs? The Cubs have 4 players in their infield, who in any given year could win an MVP. Plus the Cubs won the World Series with their core.
Also, the Phillies do NOT have salary limitations. In fact, no team technically does.
Lastly, the Braves do not have anyone to play 3B to promote. They are looking to resign Donaldson or sign Moustakas or Didi to play 3B.
I suggest that you sit the next couple of comment sections out. Take a lap bud.
Gotta agree w Vandals on the Realmuto deal here. Any uptick you’re seeing in the catcher market is a really bad thing for the Phillies.
Your point about Realmuto would be true if they had him locked in a long term deal already. But the reality is Realmuto has Middleton’s balls in a vice grip. You might be handing him out a 100 million dollar contract to keep him around. And you’ve lost Sixto Sanchez in the process.
So pay him.
Is 2 years 10 million dollars. Serious bread? They gave that guarantee out to the 35 year old Kurt Suzuki just last year. Twice that to Wieters 3 years ago. This doesn’t seem that serious.
Seems kind of steep – I guess unless you expect somewhat of a bounceback offensively. But if not and he just continues to be a .225 hitter $5M/year seems like a lot. But I guess there aren’t many other catching options out there so the market dictates what he’s worth and I guess $5M is it!
If Yan can catch so can you ! (PBS reference)
The Indians look smart for dealing him for prospects when his value was high and the Nationals look smart by bringing him back for 2 years at the price he would have gotten for his last option year.
Gomes is still an outstanding defensive catcher with occasional pop,now they just need a complementary receiver to pair him with.
Not a fan of Suzuki,behind the dish or with the stick.I would look for something better and deal him.But if he’s your fallback you could do worse.
With the stick..? His OPS was 810 in 2019…
I love how commenters so often talk about “not liking a player” and the next words out of their figurative mouths is we/they should trade him and sign someone else…
In a vacuum, this is a ludicrously over used trope. First of all a trade would imply an upgrade otherwise it is useless. Second there is what you give up to make the trade, which is rarely factored into the conversation. Third there is the problem of finding a willing partners who has complimentary needs that our/their team can fill. Next is how will the trade affect you payroll? Trades often don’t go straight to your need at the biggest position priority, so finally you may still have to go into free agency to get your catcher.
Given all this locking up a catching platoon that the pitching staff was comfortable with isn’t such a bad move. Indeed it is far better than ending up with a Weiters caliber primary catcher..
The Indians traded him when his value was way way down off its peak. They had to pay down part of his salary to get any return.
That is completely false there was no money involved in that deal and a look at Gomes yearly statistics will show you that 2018 was his best offensive season in a while.
But don’t let actual facts get in the way of your opinion.
Suzuki and Gomes will split duties behind the plate just as they did in 2019. Not ideal, but certainly adequate. Won’t be expensive and isn’t longterm. They just don’t have confidence in their catcher prospects and the market isn’t loaded with options that make more sense.
Nice deal for Nationals.
So many on here are getting caught up in the numbers particularly Gomes’ average. Zuk was in the top ten in RBIs with less than 300 ABs..
But both Zuk and Gomes were above .300 OBP and the two Combined for 29 HRs &; 106 RBIs from the Catching position. I don’t know of too many teams that wold complain about those numbers.
The sub .250 combined average is not a serious concern at the catcher position when the OBP is around .310 and the HR/RBI #s are around 30/100