Indians trade All-Star catcher Yan Gomes to Washington

Cleveland needed more than prospects in return for Gomes

Tim Grattan
November 30, 2018 - 8:56 pm

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) -- Yan Gomes is no longer a member of the Cleveland Indians.

On Friday evening, the Indians agreed to trade Gomes to the Washington Nationals for Minor League outfielder Daniel Johnson.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman was first to report on the Gomes’ trade.

The Indians also confirmed the trade via their Twitter account and will  receive right-hander Jefry Rodriguez and a player to be named.

Gomes, 31, played in 112 games for the Indians in 2018 where he made the American League All-Star team for the first time. He batted with a .266 average with 16 home runs, 48 RBIs and career-high 26 doubles.

Gomes signed through 2019 with club options for 2020 and 2021. He will make $7 million.

MLB.com ranked Johnson, 23, as Washington’s seventh-best prospect. Johnson is a speedy right fielder who played for Double-A Harrisonburg last season, hit .267 with six home runs and stole 21 bases. He could start with Double-A Akron in 2019 and get promoted to Triple-A Columbus at some point.

With Gomes heading to Washington, the Indians will now look to make Roberto Perez the full-time catcher and Eric Haase as the backup catcher.

Perez is expected to make a base salary of $2.5 million in 2019.

I believe in Perez being the everyday catcher for Cleveland. He’s a great defensive catcher (.991 field percentage), has great chemistry with the Indians’ pitching staff and, yes, I believe he can improve on his hitting for playing every day. Plus, Cleveland catching a position of strength, so I’m now worried about that spot being downgraded.  

In Triple-A Columbus, Haase hit .236 with 20 home runs and 71 RBIs.

After two injury-plagued seasons in ’16 and ’17, Gomes was at his highest value at any point in his career. However, I think Cleveland should have traded for an outfielder who can help the club now.

Cleveland should have traded Gomes for an everyday outfielder that can play right now. Since Gomes went to Washington, Michael Taylor and Adam Eaton are my two picks. Taylor is a center fielder who played in 138 games for the Nationals last season – batted .227 and was seventh in the National League with 24 stolen bases. Eaton hit .301 for the Nationals last year with five home runs, 33 RBIs and 18 doubles.

With Lonnie Chisenhall now off to Pittsburgh and Gomes heading to our nation’s capital, who’s the next player that could be leaving the Cleveland Indians? The next move could be sooner rather than later.