Chicago Cubs make key pick-up, sign Yan Gomes to two-year deal
The Chicago Cubs have finally done what their fans have desperately wanted them to do for days now…something. Tuesday morning Jeff Passan announced the Cubs signed veteran free agent catcher Yan Gomes to a two-year, $13 million deal. Gomes, 34, was an All-Star with Cleveland in 2018 and won the Silver Slugger award in 2014. He spent 2021 with the Washington Nationals and Oakland Athletics.
Ken Rosenthal also added that the deal includes a third-year option. Gomes adds another MLB catcher, seeing as Willson Contreras was the only other catcher on the 40-man roster (Miguel Amaya is injured). In 2021, Gomes was a 1.6 fWAR player with a .252/.301/.421 slash and 14 home runs.
What he brings to the Chicago Cubs and what it means for Willson Contreras
Gomes has been one of the more decently productive catchers at the plate in his career. He is not among the elite, but very solid. He is a career .247/.299/.421 hitter with 117 home runs, 91 wRC+ and .720 OPS in 882 games. Gomes brings nice pop with typically around 15 home runs and 15-20 doubles a season.
In addition to being a solid bat, he is a solid presence behind the plate with a career 41 DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) behind the plate. In terms of pitch framing, his Runs Extra Strikes (converting strikes into runs saved) was about the middle of the road in 2021. Overall this is a very solid get for the Cubs, seeing as they needed more established MLB-level catching and they got one of the better catchers available.
Now the question is, what will happen with Contreras? While it made sense to bring in another catcher regardless, there are several things that make fans wonder if he is going to be shipped off. It was already reported that extension talks were not happening between the Cubs and Contreras. The third-year option worth $6 million and $1 million in performance bonuses for Gomes based on games started raising a ton of eyebrows.
Then, Contreras tweeted this.
Look, Contreras has had fun on social media in the past, so this could be something or nothing. But it certainly has Cubs fans on the edge of their seats.
What happens to Contreras is yet to be seen, but hopefully, this move can spark a few more for the Cubs. At least they were willing to dish out $13 million for a solid player.