Cleveland has dealt Gomes to the Washington Nationals. In return the Indians receive minor league outfielder Daniel Johnson and right handed pitcher Jefry Rodriguez. Cleveland will also get a player to be named later.
Gomes had one of his best seasons at the plate in 2018. He hit .266 with a career-high 26 doubles, 16 homers and 48 RBIs in 112 games. Gomes is also one of best catchers at throwing out opposing base stealers.
“The Nationals have expressed consistent interest in Yan throughout the offseason,” Antonetti said. “They’re one of a handful of teams that expressed interest in him. The catching position was an interesting one. There were a number of teams that were seeking to upgrade their alternatives at catcher and there were also a number of alternatives on the market in both free agency and trades. That was the dynamic we were navigating at the start of the offseason. It got to a point on a deal that we thought made sense for us.”
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Rodriguez appeared in 14 games for the Nationals last season. He went 3-3 with a 5.71 ERA in 52 innings. Rodriguez could be a candidate for the bullpen in Cleveland in 2019.
Johnson, 23, spent most of 2018 at Double-A Harrisburg. He is the Nationals 2017 minor league player of the year. The Indians envision Johnson as a left fielder and could be a fourth outfielder in Cleveland in the near future.
Gomes is scheduled to make $7 million in 2019. Roberto Perez and Eric Haase will enter Spring Training as the top catchers on Cleveland’s 40-man roster. Perez is schedule to make less than $3 million next season.
Gomes will also compete with veteran Kurt Suzuki for the Nationals starting catcher position in 2019.