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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Sources: Chicago Cubs, catcher Yan Gomes agree to 2-year, $13 million deal

Catcher Yan Gomes and the Chicago Cubs are in agreement on a two-year, $13 million contract, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Gomes, 34, hit a combined .252 with 14 home runs and 52 RBIs between the Washington Nationals and Oakland Athletics last season. Washington traded Gomes to the A’s at the trading deadline.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 30, 2021 at 11:52 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, yan gomes

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   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: November 30, 2021 at 12:21 PM (#6055346)
Welp, bye, Contreras.
   2. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: November 30, 2021 at 12:23 PM (#6055348)
Yeah, that's a lot for a backup catcher. I put it in the Javy thread, but this is the biggest contract the Cubs have given a position player since Heyward.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 30, 2021 at 12:25 PM (#6055349)
Welp, bye, Contreras.
Wellp.

this is the biggest contract the Cubs have given a position player since Heyward.
That's a pretty typical response to trauma.
   4. Zonk demands an audit of your post Posted: November 30, 2021 at 01:47 PM (#6055364)
Yup.

I'll be shocked if Contreras is seen in Mesa, except as a visitor.

It's all rather eerie how Jed is looking to just reuse the Theo blueprint, but turned up to 11.

I'm a *little* more optimistic about what's down on the farm today vs 10 years ago - but then, I've been more down on the org's talent development (granted, new regime now) efforts than I was 10 years ago.

I suppose the bright side is that I'm expecting Friday afternoon game tickets to be had for 5-10 bucks for the next year or three.
   5. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 30, 2021 at 01:56 PM (#6055365)
Yeah, that's a lot for a backup catcher.
Perhaps it’s hair splitting, but I’d put Gomes more in the category that ‘splits time’, rather than a true backup, unless he’s behind the rare elite catcher.
   6. Zonk demands an audit of your post Posted: November 30, 2021 at 02:20 PM (#6055373)
Apples and Oranges (really apples and oranges :-) -- as I'm using two different lists...

But Sickels "first Theo offseason" top prospects vs current top prospects (MLB.com)

Overall, the biggest reason I like the current list more (besides subjective hindsight and my obvious love of prospects) is that I really do feel a LOT more confidant that the cream of the current crop (Davis and Amaya) becoming valuable contributors than I did the 2011/12 crop (Jackson/Rizzo/Baez). Of course - Baez/Rizzo obviously landed quite well, but I'm trying to avoid using hindsight. I just think Davis and Amaya have fewer holes in their games than (then) Jackson/Rizzo/Baez. Of course - if Davis/Amaya end up coming even close to what the Cubs got from Rizzo/Baez, you'd take that in a heartbeat.

This current crop is also much more weighted towards the OF - whereas the prior crop was more sprinkled around. I also think the "old" crop was more luster than performance whereas this one has a bit more performance over luster.... Velaszquez won the AFL MVP (though, he's a bit old to be putting it together). There are more "up trenders" on the current list.

This is what makes it a bit maddening that the Cubs didn't try to bring Baez back... The IF crop is quite young - at least 3 years away beyond spare parts (maybe Strumpf can be a poor man's Bote... who is himself a poor man's IF starter) and Hoerner is better suited to 2B anyway. Unless you're a Wisdom believer, Baez can anchor SS, maybe you might move him to 3B if he loses some quickness and you think Howard's glove is the future, etc. The rest, though? All the other IFs are a long way off.

I think that anyway you slice it, the Cubs can *eventually* put together a pretty damn good OF from homegrown products... and assuming Amaya doesn't flame out (and I think he'll be fine), he's probably the 2023 starter and should be pretty good eventually (I'm thinking Russell Martin).

But - the IF is... who knows. Schwindell was fun, but he's Micah Hoffpauir. Zero faith that Wisdom is a keeper. Howard might be a good glove, but the rest of the IF are teenagers.

I suppose you can make a case that the pitching is more promising (frankly, though he'd have been 12, I'm surprised Marquez wasn't on the 2012 list... feels like he's been around forever) if only because the 10 years past didn't throw as hard (and had putrid K rates) compared to the guys on this list. That said, I'm probably not properly adjusting for higher K rates.

So... IDK.

I expect to see the OF being largely 'homegrown' the next time the Cubs are good. But given the available FA SSs? It seems like a mistake to not bring Baez back (or go after Semien/Seager/Correa). Given the crapshoot pitching always is - I'm OK with avoiding that market for now and instead, waiting a year or two to dip into that market.
   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 30, 2021 at 02:26 PM (#6055376)
Unless you're a Wisdom believer,
Depends. Is he conventional?
   8. Walt Davis Posted: November 30, 2021 at 02:42 PM (#6055380)
Alas, while Zonk's comparison is probably spot on, chances are that the current crop probably won't turn out as well Rizzo and Baez (and Contreras who was on nobody's radar in 2012) and will Jed draft as well as Bryant/Schwarber/Happ. To actually beat that in hindsight, Jed has to get 5 near-all-star level players or a few stars and a massive amount of depth out of the current crop and the next few drafts.

As to the IF, in the short term it's Madrigal and Hoerner. While I suspect in 2-3 years (or June) we'll want it to be other people, they are at least interesting players you want to find out what they can do full-time.

Does Gomes have a particularly good rep as a pitcher handler?

#5: We're saying that Contreras is one of those elite catchers (at least as a hitter).** Therefore, if holding onto Contreras, all the Cubs needed was a backup C. We agree with you that Gomes is too good and too expensive to be a 40-start backup ... therefore the Cubs are trading Contreras. Now of course you never know and Willson has only made it to 110 starts at C twice and he could grab some time at DH, 1B and maybe LF (not sure he's still got the wheels for that). Anyway, point is, of all the positions the Cubs could use some FA help to field a non-embarrassing team, C was very low priority ... unless Willson is gone.

** unless you mean "elite elite" in which case he's "near-elite."
   9. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: November 30, 2021 at 02:52 PM (#6055385)
Amaya

Did you miss the news that he's having TJS? He missed most of this year. Between those and last year's lost COVID year, he's lot a TON of development time and is much less of a sure thing than he seemed a couple of years ago. I do like some of the other younger guys - like you said, lot of OFs but Howard, Hernandez, and Triantos are all interesting too - but the floor seems lower this time around.

Perhaps it’s hair splitting, but I’d put Gomes more in the category that ‘splits time’, rather than a true backup, unless he’s behind the rare elite catcher.

Contreras had a down year, but he's not the type of guy you have split time. So whether you consider Contreras "elite" or not is your call.
   10. Zonk demands an audit of your post Posted: November 30, 2021 at 03:08 PM (#6055392)
Oops!

I COMPLETELY forgot about Madrigal!

I'm still skeptical that Hoerner is the right solution for SS (Madrigal definitely needs to stay at 2B and his arm absolutely prevents him from moving anywhere but to the right on the IF... ), so I don't quite retract my desire to have brought back Baez (or chase Correa), but I guess that makes it a wee bit more understandable.

My understanding is that yeah - Gomes is generally well-thought of as a "pitcher handler", so there is that.

But anyway, yeah... much as it is hard to compare 10 year old prospect lists to current ones and not let hindsight interfere - even the relatively middling state of Theo Year One will be hard to duplicate in terms of subsequent value.

I suppose mainly, I'm hoping that the depth (particularly in the OF, but again - I think this current list has more up arrows whereas the prior had more down arrows) isn't quite as squandered as previously.

I guess we're likely to have years (again!) to debate the.... Patrick.... of trading your prospects during a window -- but even beyond the big deals like Chapman or Quintana... I look at things like the Candelario/Paredes for Avila/Wilson trade.

The Theo era Cubs - the alleged (and actual, again, 3 straight NLCS trips ain't nothing!) juggernaut FAR too often dealt away premium prospects for spare parts.

I hope the new regime is more amenable to just buying spare parts like LOOGYs and top-flight backup Cs rather than paying a king's ransom in trade. I suppose that's the hard part... knowing when a prospect's value has peaked and thus, get what you can vs waiting too long.

But -- to me anyway, that was the biggest reason the Teens Cub champs are now in a "rebuild" rather than more Dodgers-esque "reload" mode. They always seem to overpay for nominally complementary pieces and spare parts.
   11. Zonk demands an audit of your post Posted: November 30, 2021 at 03:10 PM (#6055394)
Did you miss the news that he's having TJS? He missed most of this year. Between those and last year's lost COVID year, he's lot a TON of development time and is much less of a sure thing than he seemed a couple of years ago. I do like some of the other younger guys - like you said, lot of OFs but Howard, Hernandez, and Triantos are all interesting too - but the floor seems lower this time around.


Ugh, I did... I knew he had an arm issue that ruined most of last season, but yeah... ####. Oh well.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: November 30, 2021 at 06:58 PM (#6055447)
I am equally/more skeptical that Hoerner is a quality ML SS ... I was just resigned to the idea that, with Madrigal also around, the Cubs would give Hoerner his shot and wouldn't go after any of the big SS. And I'd be fine with that if they were going after other things.

In a funny way, the overpay for complementary parts things started almost immediately in Theo's tenure with two completely innocuous looking trades. OK, the first was actually rule 5 where they decided Marwin Gonzalez wasn't worth keeping around, grabbed indirectly by the other rebuilder the Astros. He went on to 7 seasons of excellent bench play (13 WAR, 1 WAA) although seems to be at the end of the line now (0 WAR 2020, -1 WAR 2021). And on rule 5 day, Lemahieu & Colvin for Ian Stewart and Casey Weathers ... even before LeMahieu figured out how to hit he was a solid bench player.

I don't criticize him for either -- you surely have a better idea of whether Marwin and LeMahieu were deserving of 40-man spots than I do. I didn't think anything of the trades at the time. I didn't want Stewart but I didn't think LeMahieu would ever outhit a 12-yo and we already had one Darwin Barney (and I didn't think Colvin would be anything). And, if we reran history, if anything their presence would have made the Cubs either more likely to trade Baez or less likely to sign Zobrist. But given the crap trotted out there, right through to Jonathan Herrera and "2B" Chris Coghlan in 2015, there was playing time to be had.
   13. Zonk demands an audit of your post Posted: November 30, 2021 at 07:25 PM (#6055456)
Yeah... we've obviously beat this to death a ton in Gonfalon over the years, but man. The feast or famine. Hit big on some hands, but utterly and completely fail on the rest.

The prior era reminds me of some sort hellish blackjack table where you lose every hand EXCEPT those hands where you end up maxing out the splits and doubledowns and winning all those. Well... except, of course, you ultimately won enough to have a damn nice night on the town because even though you lost almost every straight up hand, you won the big ones big time :-).


I hope the new regime takes more of a page from the Dodgers - doing a better job identifying some reclamation/crapshoots, being stingy about dealing alleged chits (even with his subpar 2021 - I'd take Gavin Lux off their hands in a minute... like Hendricks + Contreras minute), and being more amenable to letting those allegedly 'blocked' prospects toil away in part-time roles, swing roles, etc. Injuries happen. I suppose, first, they should look to adopt the Dodgers success in scouting and development though.

I'm trying to talk myself into the idea that Madrigal could be Rod Carew! - but that's, of course, ridiculous as he's probably more like a less versatile David Fletcher.
   14. Brian C Posted: November 30, 2021 at 09:21 PM (#6055471)
Now of course you never know and Willson has only made it to 110 starts at C twice and he could grab some time at DH, 1B and maybe LF (not sure he's still got the wheels for that). Anyway, point is, of all the positions the Cubs could use some FA help to field a non-embarrassing team, C was very low priority ... unless Willson is gone.

Isn't this maybe the whole point? Gomes is not really the guy you go get if you want to replace Contreras. But he's the perfect guy to go get if you want to find someone who can start 70-90 games at C and let Contreras freelance at other positions. Especially if you maybe think that at Contreras' age and with his offense, his value will start to transition from "being a catcher" to "can play catcher".

Also, what does "not having the wheels for LF" even mean? Is that really a thing? Did I miss the transition in baseball where LF became the place you put one of your wheelsiest guys? From what I've seen the last couple years, Contreras is still plenty athletic to spot in LF from time to time.
   15. McCoy Posted: November 30, 2021 at 10:37 PM (#6055483)
Well, if you've got a guy who looks good as a hitter because he's a catcher his defense is going to prove problematic if he can't get around in LF.

If he's like a -8 fielder in LF that makes his hitting run value at something like -15 (position and base running). So he basically needs to have an ops+ of 120 or higher and play pretty close to a full season to be better than average.
   16. dejarouehg Posted: December 01, 2021 at 04:37 AM (#6055500)
What if they add the DH? That's another spot for Gomes.

Also, I am guessing their plan is to spell Contreras more at C so that his bat doesn't wear down throughout the season.

Or, maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: December 01, 2021 at 08:45 AM (#6055510)
1. As we know, catching several years is not frequently good for speed.

2. Contreras started 21 times in LF in 2016, then 3 times in 2017 ... and has 1 OF start in the last 4 years (RF as it turns out). So "I don't know if he has the wheels for LF anymore" is simply a statement of knowledge -- he's spent no time out there, I don't know if he can still handle it. FWIW (not much given a puny sample size), TZ puts him on a -23 pace, DRS at -10. He's had 4000 innings behind the plate since then.

If Schwindel was a LHB, I might think Willson would be grabbing 30-40 1B starts. And sure, if the NL gets a DH then Willson slots in there on some of his off days.

If the Cubs were a 90-ish win team then I might think "wow, an excellent 50/50 catching duo, they might combine for 4, even 5 WAR plus whatever Willson gives them elsewhere and that might be enough to push them into the playoffs." But Willson's turning 30 and FA at the end of the year ... surely this is not part of a plan to sign him longterm and ease Willson into his 2nd career as a 110 OPS+ 1B/LF/DH. I won't rule out the Cubs hold onto him until the deadline unless they get a good offer now. But it looks a lot more like somebody to paper over this year and tutor Amaya next year.
   18. Brian C Posted: December 01, 2021 at 10:04 AM (#6055521)
surely this is not part of a plan to sign him longterm and ease Willson into his 2nd career as a 110 OPS+ 1B/LF/DH.

No, but a second career as a *C*/1B/LF/DH with a 110 OPS+ seems like a really useful guy, especially if you think the wear-and-tear of catching such a heavy share of innings has held his offense back, as the Cubs have often stated in the past and seems plausible enough.

Of course, that doesn't mean that you don't make a deal if someone blows you away at the deadline, and obviously I have no idea how Willson would take to such a plan. But it seems like a really great way to get him out on the field more and extend his career. I guess I'd put it this way - he's pretty obviously heading there one way or the other, whether with the Cubs or not. He can't keep catching such a heavy share of the team's games and stay healthy the way it is, and that's not getting better as he gets older.
Contreras started 21 times in LF in 2016, then 3 times in 2017 ... and has 1 OF start in the last 4 years (RF as it turns out). So "I don't know if he has the wheels for LF anymore" is simply a statement of knowledge -- he's spent no time out there, I don't know if he can still handle it.

Well obviously he hasn't played in the outfield in a long time, he's been their full-time catcher. My point is, what do "wheels" have to do with it? It's LF.

And even if he hasn't played in LF recently, we've recently seen him do things like run the bases and make athletic plays behind the plate. Even despite his nagging-injury history, he's plainly not ca.-1986 Ron Cey. Unless he simply forgot how to track a fly ball, plenty of teams will run worse out there.

BTW while writing this, I pulled up Cey's b-r card, and he's 73 years old. Damn. In a few more years, he'll have been alive for just as long since he retired from baseball as he had been when he retired. Damn.

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