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Gomes, Cleveland reach agreement on six-year extension

Gomes, Cleveland reach agreement on six-year extension
Yan Gomes (Photo:
March 29, 2014
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Cleveland agreed with a six-year, $23 million contract extension with catcher Yan Gomes according to Ken Rosenthal (pending a physical). The extension also includes two club options that would keep Gomes under team control through 2021 if exercised.

Gomes, 26, broke out last year with a .294/.345/.481 line with 11 home runs and 3.7 fWAR in 88 games. The catcher took over the starting job from Carlos Santana and enters the season as Cleveland's #1 catcher. He was acquired last offseason along with Mike Aviles from Toronto as a part of the Esmil Rogers trade.

As Jon Heyman notes, Gomes' extension is the largest ever for a pre-arbitration catcher (the old record holder was none other than Santana). The extension is the second such contract Cleveland has given out this offseason, joining Michael Brantley.

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User Comments

March 31, 2014 - 10:03 AM EDT
"Lets not overlook the impact Yan can have on the pitching staff. If Gomes has another very good season defensively & framing pitches."

This to me is HUGE.

Gomes was one of the best in regards to framing pitches in 2013...Santana was one of the 15 worst (that's all catchers, not starters)...and in 2012 Santana was the worst. This in addition to being rated the worst defensive catcher in baseball by some counts...

Gomes even if he regresses is a huge improvement over Santana behind the plate. Very excited to see how pitchers look with him back there. Ubaldo and Kazmir were unbelieve able the last month last year...while they had free agency coming and a playoff thing I think that got overlooked was Gomes being the catcher for the last 6 weeks or so instead of Santana. Small sample yes but I fully believe Gomes played a part in those two's great finishes (and ultimately the Tribe's).

Consider what the Rays do behind the plate (keeping Jose Molina around, going after Hanigan)...they know that defense is key behind the plate.
March 30, 2014 - 12:59 PM EDT
By signing Gomes to long term contract allows the Indians time to develop other catchers in there system. Wolters, Hasse and the prize prospect at catcher in Francisco Mejia. If Gomes start being less productive after 4-5 years than Mejia might be ready to step in take over.
March 30, 2014 - 11:47 AM EDT
The Indians are building their team from the middle out. With Gomes at catcher and Francisco Lindor at shortstop the next 6-7 years, that could be a pretty damn good defensive combination up the middle in the infield for the Indians. Not to mention Kipnis probably here another 4-6 years. And they just locked up Brantley and have Bourn for a few more years, and have the Frazier kid 3-4 years away, so center field is looking strong. They obviously need more stability at the infield and outfield corners, which may be yet another reason Santana was moved to third.
March 30, 2014 - 11:43 AM EDT
The Gomes deal is brilliant IMO, He is one of the top catchers in the game right now and he is entering his prime. If you don't sign him and he has the kind of season he had last year he could end up say in Boston 3 yrs at 36. No team ever wins a pennant without a good catcher, think about it. Now could he have an off year? Well who couldn't. Now you got money for the first time in your life, your married to the daughter of Atlee Hamaker- that was one very quirky S.F. Giant- and you're playing in a town with empty stadium seats and lots of barstools. I think he is a grateful , humble guy with a good work ethic and the fire to play at a high level
MT88 in WI
March 30, 2014 - 11:00 AM EDT
Not sure how you think I bought a whole sick cow but I would rather buy some steak on occasion then the crap you shovel over an over...
I would ask why are you so bitter but I have zero interest wasting more time on you.
March 30, 2014 - 8:37 AM EDT
Excuses...Excuses..that is what Cleveland is famous for. We made excuses when we could not build a new stadium for the Browns at the same time the Indians and Cavs got new facilities.

Result Browns move to Baltimore change there name and have won 2 super bowls. Cleveland gets the rebirth of the fake Browns in 99 and they have become Clowns of the NFL and has slowly turning NE Ohio into Steeler country.

Keep making those excuses, keep bashing the Indians, and being cheap because one day you will lose the Indians to another city,
March 30, 2014 - 7:09 AM EDT
Hey Rick, if an owner of a company can identify an asset in its infancy and exploit that asset to his advantage they are viewed as a shrewd and innovative business owner. How is that any different than what the Indians are trying to do with Gomes?

Identifying value and getting it at a great value is something all teams try to do, not just the Indians and all the other "cheap" franchises.

Just because the large market clubs can have 200mil payrolls doesn't mean they want to lose value.
March 30, 2014 - 4:51 AM EDT
Wow,from a throw in in a trade for a back up infielder to a six year 23 million dollar deal in one season...what a country!

Gomes is far from a sure thing,after less than a half season as a regular.The Tribe brass must be convinced though.Still,it takes some stones to make a deal like this,hopefully he turns into a Paul Goldschmit.

The difference between Cincinnatti and Cleveland?
They drew one million more fans for a team that won two less games.
The Dolans
March 30, 2014 - 2:10 AM EDT
@ Rick .. you're a disgrace to this fanbase with that type of attitude. Just revoke your "fan" rights and go like a team like the Yankees instead.
March 30, 2014 - 1:48 AM EDT
...@MT88 in WI

Congrats - you've bought the whole sick cow. Yan is great...handling developing young arms. Which is all you are ever going to have in the next six years.

As soon as they get service time...and know what they are doing...(unlike Carrasco whose only the 1st of many such 'lagging bloomers' to come)....

They cost too much! Can't go there! Pay 'em once and they expect it! What a dangerous precedent. The kind that postseason teams set and live by.
March 30, 2014 - 1:32 AM EDT
This is the same kind of move the D'back's made with Goldschmidt and it's a brilliant lock up. It's also the kind of deal fans of this franchise will have to live with.

At this price, even if Yan's offensive numbers drop off a cliff, he's worth his weight on this scale on the defensive side, and if he just stays about where he was last year, it's a great value sign.

That said, the winded excuses of Joe Chengery, Hermie the cheerleader, and yes, Tony as well, are just that excuses, excuses, excuses.

These are about as risky a deal as you are going to get with these Dolans. And this 'plan' has nothing to do with the lean forward Nate Silver Buckaroo Bonzi math wizards employed deep in the Tribe War Room.

They are not caretakers. The are not quite Ted Stepian lousy owners, but they are in Ted Bonda and approaching the O'Neill family territory.

Fickle, rudderless, and devoid of any commitment to winning.

That is what the Masterson pass is about. And no they are not going to revisit anything. This is who they are. They don't pay 'developed' starting pitching - unless its a flyer like Derek Lowe or Brent Meyers - essentially discount shopping for arms trying to re-establish a career.

Hence no serious interest in Kazmir as well.

Which is why their franchise has appreciated at the rate of Sears or J.C. Penny in an era when owning a baseball franchise has been a money making machine.

They right now today are the most attractive hostile take over target in 40 years. There are tanker loads of money to be made with this franchise - just not in Cleveland - at least not with these owners.

Little more than 10 years after Montreal lost their franchise and they get a chance to watch baseball and guess what? They prove that the market that got screwed is still as potentially golden as the first time they ever saw a team.

And of course there is always Columbus.

So guess what Paul Dolan is going to hear then next time he complains about small market disadvantages?

If your fans don't want to come buy seats, then sell your club to a market that doesn't act like a AAA town.

I love Yan. But he is a Dolan purchase through and through. Came out of nowhere and doesn't cost much. But where is all the statistical evidence on Yan folks?

We have heard dozens of reasons why Masterson isn't worth a bag of balls, so where is all that number crunching now?

88 games?

Isn't that a bit of a low sample size compared with say a guy like Masterson, who, according to every pundit outside of IBI and Cleveland, is every bit as legit as Homer Bailey.

And will get his 17+million a year. Just not in Cleveland.

And why is it that Cini's ownership can spend and Cleveland's can't by the way? What is the big difference between the two halves of the same state?

It's that what we always here from the Dolan cheerleaders here at IBI?

You don't win without ponying up for pitching. There is only one Tampa. They concentrate on who is on the mound. Not who is catching.

This franchise doesn't have priorities - just excuses.
March 29, 2014 - 11:53 PM EDT
Better to have done this contract this year; if Gomes has a season in '14 even approaching what he did in '13, the price would have gone waaay up.
March 29, 2014 - 11:46 PM EDT
No one said it was a "huge risk", Walter. But like any contact, there is risk involved. Gomes could be a one-year wonder. Lots of those in baseball, and they could be throwing away $20+ million. At the same time, even if he's a worthwhile backup for 6 years, they get their money's worth, and if he has another big year, this will look like a huge steal at the end of this season. With the club options, I'd probably do this.
March 29, 2014 - 10:44 PM EDT
There is almost no downside to this contract and the potential for huge upside. If Gomes turns out to be the player he was last year this is going to be a bargain. If not, the amounts here certainly don't hamstring the Tribe. A calculated risk. I like it.
MT88 in WI
March 29, 2014 - 10:35 PM EDT
Lets not overlook the impact Yan can have on the pitching staff. If Gomes has another very good season defensively & framing pitches, I have to believe it will be a plus in any Tribe efforts to sign/ extend pitchers like Mcallister and Kluber.
Joe Chengery
March 29, 2014 - 10:16 PM EDT
This is the main reason why the Indians are not signing Masterson, nor showed any interest in signing Kazmir or Jimenez: For the Indians to lock up young talent, they must identify them ASAP and sign them ASAP. Waiting longer only raises the price tag, which increases the chances of them not signing extensions.

Besides Kipnis, Kluber and McAllister aren't that far off either. While they may not be eligible for FA until 2019, McAllister is up for arbitration after 2015 season. Kluber after 2016 season, and part of the Indians signing these guys is to bypass the arbitration years and the first few years of FA.

In essence, they need to focus on signing Kluber and McAllister; this is why they are NOT signing Masterson. You may think that signing him for two years won't handicap them, but when you consider how many pieces of the young core (and, no, Masterson isn't part of that young core) need to be signed before arbitration within the next two years, this is why the Indians are refusing to sign Masterson to the 17-18M 2-year deal, as it will be more financially restrictive than at first glance.

The only way the Indians would have resigned Masterson is if Masterson had shown the consistency of a frontline starter or ace over the past three to four seasons, but he did not. By the time the 2012 season was over, and Masterson having the poor year that he did, I really think that sealed the door on them bringing him back, as he's now close to FA, and the rate is too high for a guy who has a weaker track record than Kazmir and Jimenez to plunk that much down on him and risk losing younger pitchers (or having to pay a whole lot more) with comparable or better ceilings than Masterson.

If the Indians sign Masterson to that two-year extension, they'll lose him after that, plus hinder their chances at signing either or both of Kluber and McAllister, as the Indians can't wait until 2017, 2018 to sign these guys. These guys need to be extended no later than 2016 (which would be Masterson's second year on the new contract).

Think about the Rays and Price- they signed him several years, and while he is still a strong pitcher (stronger than Masterson), they know they have no chance of resigning him, so they aren't doing anything more than the gracious gestures of "leaving negotiations" open. I think that's what the Indians are doing with Masterson, partly out of respect for him and Francona, and partly as a PR move, but I really don't think the Indians are focused on signing him, not with Kipnis a center point, plus the fact that Kluber and McAllister are coming up in arbitration after '15 and '16. Signing Masterson to the proposed contracts won't help those efforts; just like Price, the Indians are ignoring any idea of signing Masterson because they are focused on the young core, and just like TB's young core doesn't include Price beyond his current contract, the same likely holds true with Masterson and his current contract.

This is why the Indians had no interest in resigning Kazmir to two years or Jimenez for four years, even at relatively low AAVs- it would affect their ability to keep the young, developing core intact. The Gomes signing, along with Brantley's earlier, reinforces this philosophy. I suspect Kipnis' is the one they're really working on, not Masterson's. If another contract gets done by Monday, I think it will be Kipnis', not Masterson's, for the reasons mentioned above.
March 29, 2014 - 10:03 PM EDT
No one on site is ever satisfied. You blast the FO for not signing Masterson for 3yr 17mil. When the FO does lock someone to long term deal than excuses come out that it is huge risk.

Signing Masterson is a huge risk, Signing Jimenez and Kazmir also could have been a huge risk. Signing any player to guaranteed long term contract is a risk. Just ask what Tigers did with Cabrera.

Signing Gomes to 6 yr deal they will have him through his productive years. He would be 32 when contract expires.
March 29, 2014 - 9:59 PM EDT
As much as i enjoy watching Gomes catch defensively this could have waited a year. in this day of monopoly money with regards to salaries in baseball 23 million is serious money that could have been there a year from now. at this time next year Gomes still wont have the arbitration elegibility yet also so why rush to sign him when jason kipnis isnt signed and is arbitration elegible after this season. Perhaps they figure that JRAM can replace kipnis in time but mejia is far and away better overall prospect and will be more than ready to contribute at the major league level in a few years. Way before the 6 yrs of Gomes contract is up. all of baseball is starting to realize that Mejia is a brilliant prospect. Who we are invarably developing for someone we trade with. pROBABLY THE DODGERS to payback for the carlos santana heist. Defensively gomes is great but his offensive track record isnt proven yet. What if he turns out to be marginal hitter. Hard to trade with a 6 yr contract. SHAKING MY HEAD have the inmates taken over the asylum?
March 29, 2014 - 9:52 PM EDT
Not even a full year.

I like the proactive approach. We criticize them for not spending but they deserve credit for this. Hopefully kipnis is next

And we can hope a deal gets worked out with Masterson.
March 29, 2014 - 9:41 PM EDT
It's risky because Gomes only has had one good year. Kelly Shoppach looked pretty good in 2008.
March 29, 2014 - 9:16 PM EDT
Not really that risky. On defense alone he is more than worth this money.
MT88 in WI
March 29, 2014 - 9:02 PM EDT
An understandable but risky move.. I like it. Hopefully an extension is still in the works for Kipnis and can be announced after the season gets started...

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