The Cubs have landed a free agent! According to Craig Mish, catcher Yan Gomes has agreed to a two-year, $13 million contract with Chicago.
Since the Cubs traded away Victor Caratini as part of a deal that also sent Yu Darvish to the San Diego Padres before the 2021 season, the team struggled mightily to find a quality backup catcher. Before eventually landing Robinson Chirinos in early July, the Cubs went through five backup catchers.
As you might recall, Gomes squared off against the Cubs in the 2016 World Series as a member of the Cleveland Indians. Since moving on from the Indians (now, Cleveland Guardians), Gomes won a World Series with a Washington Nationals in 2019 and played with the Nationals and Oakland Athletics last season.
Known more for his defense, Gomes adds leadership and fortifies a position of weakness for the Cubs. Outside of Willson Contreras, who desperately needs more days off, the Cubs had no one of significance that is MLB-ready for 2022.
For his career, Gomes sports a .247/.299/.421 (.720 OPS) slash line with 117 home runs. The deal sounds like an overpay, but when looking at Spotrac.com’s market value for Gomes, they had him listed at $7,693,889 AAV. The Cubs are bringing him in at a $6.5 million AAV. Also, Gomes had a career-high .341 xwOBA last year and was worth 1.6 wins, according to FanGraphs.
Of course, this isn’t the most significant move of the year, and the Cubs aren’t done. But, hey, it’s a start. Jed Hoyer is on the board.