Indians Make Big Investment in Yan Gomes
On Saturday, the Indians made a key investment by ensuring catcher Yan Gomes would remain in the fold through at least 2020. Recent reports indicate that Gomes and his fantastic chin will make $23 million over the course of the next six years, all in a Cleveland uniform. The deal covers two pre-arbitration seasons and one free agent year, and includes a pair of club options for 2021 and 2022, making him the longest-controlled player on the current roster.
Fans should be ecstatic about this deal. This contract will not only keep our newly-emerging star behind the plate in Cleveland for the foreseeable future, but does so at an enormous bargain. His numbers are likely to regress a bit from last year, but it’s not put of the question to say that he will remain a 4-win player through the next couple of years. Let’s take a look at Oliver’s projections for Yan Gomes in 2014. You can see them below with other projections. (click to enlarge)
These numbers are suggesting quite a bit of regression from last year’s .294/.328/.481 line, but are fair considering he will be playing a difficult position for an entire year. More importantly, this stat line looks awfully similar to the combined numbers of Matt Wieters‘ first three seasons in the Major Leagues. Weiters earned $5.5 million in his first year of arbitration with the Orioles, and was given a contract worth $7.7 million for 2014 coming off a down season. He’s likely to make over $10 million during his final arbitration year if he bounces back to his career norms. All in all, his earnings during his arbitration years should total a tad over $23 million.
Is it hasty to compare a young player with one year of service time to a former All-Star catcher with 2 Gold Gloves to his name? Almost definitely. Is it wrong? Not entirely. Maybe it’s just my eternal optimism and fervent man-crush on the Yanimal, but I’ve always believed he had great potential and I continue to see it that way. If he’s capable of putting up impressive numbers like the Oliver projection suggests, and continues to throw out an obscene number of base runners, I can’t see an arbitration panel awarding him too much less than Wieters. Especially at such a premium position. Add in the million dollars from his two pre-arb seasons and we’re basically getting one of his free agent years for free, along with a pair of club options at a presumably team-friendly price. The Indians are also getting all of his prime years in the deal. The options are there for his age 32 and 33 seasons, assumedly the earliest point at which we might see a decline due to age. This contract keeps a great player in Cleveland, with very little risk involved.
Because of how excited I am about this contract, I’d like to close with a few clever quips.
- With this new contract, the Tribe will go off into the wild blue Yander
- I can think of a BraZillion reasons to love this extension
- The deal is Chincredible for Cleveland fans
- Ready, set, Gomes
- And finally, this kind of bargain is one in a millYan
I hope you are all disgusted by the puns while remaining as grateful as I am to have this awesome player stick with us into the next decade.