AP source: Indians, Yan Gomes agree to contract
CLEVELAND (AP) Yan Gomes didn’t need long to prove to the Indians he was worth keeping around for a while.
Following a breakout season in 2013, the catcher has agreed to terms with Cleveland on a multiyear contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Saturday.
Gomes batted .294 with 11 homers and 38 RBIs in 88 games last season, his first with the Indians. He must pass a physical for the deal to be finalized, the person said on condition of anonymity because there are still details to be worked out.
FOXSports.com first reported the $23 million, six-year deal, which includes two club options.
Gomes is not expected to sign the contract until the Indians return home following their season-opening series in Oakland.
The 26-year-old Gomes – the first Brazilian-born player in the majors – began last season at Triple-A Columbus, but after being brought up in April he stayed the rest of the year and was a major contributor as the Indians made the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
In addition to providing power to Cleveland’s lineup, Gomes was a defensive dynamo behind the plate. He threw out 38 percent (18 of 47) of potential base stealers and did a nice job handling the pitching staff.
The Indians went 49-30 when Gomes started, and his emergence prompted the club to move Carlos Santana to third base this spring. Santana is expected to back up Gomes, play some third and also DH.
During Cleveland’s late-season playoff push, Gomes batted .309 in September. He hit .296 overall with runners in scoring position.
The move was a bit surprising because the club has been focused this spring on securing a long-term deal with No. 1 starter Justin Masterson. Talks with the right-hander were recently put on hold, and the Indians have also had discussions with All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis on a long-term deal.
At the beginning of camp, the team signed outfielder Michael Brantley to a four-year, $25 million contract.
The Indians acquired Gomes and infielder Mike Aviles before last season in a trade with Toronto for right-hander Esmil Rogers.