It’s a two-year deal with a third-year club option, giving Chicago some flexibility after the first two seasons of the contract.
Catching up on some accounting details…
Breakdown of C Yan Gomes 2y/$13m deal with #Cubs:
2024: club option for $6m (or $1m buyout)
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) November 30, 2021
Chicago isn’t likely to contend in 2022, so this deal isn’t getting a lot of attention.
But it’s actually a pretty underrated signing for the Cubs, both in terms of the player they’re getting and the price they’re paying.
Gomes will bring a lot to the table for Chicago.
Here’s What The Cubs Are Getting In Gomes
It’s very rare for a catcher to be a net positive offensively.
Typically, a catcher adds the majority of his value behind the dish, and the hope is that he’s simply not a liability offensively.
But in the case of Gomes, he’s actually a pretty solid hitter.
Over the past two seasons combined, he has appeared in 133 total games.
During that span, he has maintained an OPS+ of 101.
That’s slightly above league average.
On the surface, that might not seem too impressive, but it’s important to consider the fact that most catchers usually post OPS+ clips well below the league-average mark of 100.
For Gomes to be maintaining an OPS+ above 100 in recent seasons tells you that he’s not your typical catcher when it comes to offensive production.
*Yan Gomes has entered the chat* pic.twitter.com/UgaqERonH9
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) August 1, 2021
Behind the plate, he’s very solid as well.
In the 2021 MLB season, the average caught-stealing rate was about 24 percent.
Gomes, however, threw out 31 percent of potential base-stealers.
That’s a very impressive mark.
The 35-year-old also racked up a Defensive Runs Saved of 5 and defensive bWAR of 1.6 in 2021.
Across the board, very solid marks.
Cubs fans will enjoy having this guy around.
What Does This Mean For Current Cubs Catcher Willson Contreras?
Willson Contreras has spent his entire MLB career with the Cubs, and he has established himself as one of baseball’s top catchers.
But the 29-year-old’s name has been mentioned frequently in trade rumors over the years, and given the Cubs’ deal for Gomes, it remains to be seen what the future holds for Contreras.
The two-time All-Star is under club control for just one more season.
Is the Gomes signing an indication that Contreras could be on the move soon?
Or will Gomes merely serve as Contreras’ backup in 2022?
Even if Contreras doesn’t get traded, there’s a chance he’ll leave the Cubs next offseason.
And if that happens, then Chicago will certainly be glad that it has Gomes.
The Cubs’ rationale behind the Gomes signing could be a combination of all of these things.
This about sums up the possibilities:
- Maybe the Cubs will explore trades this offseason for Contreras. If they find one they like enough to do, then Gomes will find himself carrying the load at catcher in 2022.
- Maybe they’ll keep Contreras around in 2022 but ultimately won’t be able to extend him. If that’s the case, Gomes will come in handy in 2023.
- Maybe Contreras actually does have a long-term future with the Cubs. Even if he does, there will be a role for Gomes as Contreras’ backup and/or as a designated hitter (assuming the universal DH does indeed go into place).
There are a lot of possibilities on the table.
Time will tell how the matter unfolds.