Washington Nationals: Looking ahead to the team’s 2019/20 free agents
By Blake Finney
Yan Gomes – Club Option
Acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Indians this offseason, Yan Gomes is the final new addition to appear in this article. He is a big reason that the Washington Nationals are in a much better situation behind the plate than in previous years.
Gomes is coming off of an All-Star campaign in which he slashed a solid .266/.313/.449 with 16 long balls and 48 RBI while also being regarded as one of the better defensive catchers in the game. This is more impressive when you realize catchers around the league combined to slash .232/.304/.372 last season, and the Nats were among the worst with a .209/.299/.312 line by their backstops.
Not only was Gomes a huge upgrade on Matt Wieters, but he was also appealing because of his team options at a reasonable cost. In 2020 he has a $9 million team option and in 2021 his contract also possesses an $11 million team option. Pretty team-friendly.
For comparison, former Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos signed with the New York Mets this offseason for $9.5 million per season. Yasmani Grandal also signed a one-year deal that includes a mutual option the Milwaukee Brewers for $16 million.
Those two recent contracts should emphasize how good of a deal the Nats have gotten with Gomes’s contract. Even if he regresses slightly from his 2018 levels, he would still be well worth the $9 million option given his defensive skills and leadership behind the plate.
Prediction: The Nationals exercise Yan Gomes’ 2020 club option