The Cleveland Indians are finalizing a trade that’ll send All-Star catcher Yan Gomes to the Washington Nationals according to multiple reports.
Cleveland will receive OF prospect Daniel Johnson, pitcher Jefry Rodriguez and a player to be named later from Washington.
The 31-year-old catcher spent the last six seasons with the Indians, representing the team in the All-Star Game this past season while becoming one of the best hitting and defensive catchers in all of baseball.
Gomes played in 112 games this past season hitting .266/.313/.449 with 16 home runs and 48 RBIs in 403 at-bats.
Over his six-year stint with the Tribe, Gomes hit .250/.296/.426 with 83 home runs and 295 RBIs in 609 games. He won the Silver Slugger Award for the catcher position in 2014 and the 2013 American League Wilson Defensive Catcher of the Year.
The Nationals have had issues at the catcher position in recent years and with the additions of Gomes as well as veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki, the issues should become a non-issue for the next few seasons.
Gomes is potentially under contract through 2021. He’s scheduled to make $7 million in 2019 and then two team options: $9 million in 2020 and $11 million in 2021.
Daniel Johnson was the Nationals Minor League Player of the Year for the 2017 season and reports saying he has all the physical tools to be a quality major league outfielder.
In 2017 which was his first full season as a professional baseball player, Johnson hit for .298/.356/.505 with 29 doubles, 22 home runs, 72 RBIs and 22 stolen bases in 497 at-bats between Single-A Hagerstown and Single-A Potomac.
In 2018 for Double-A Harrisburg, he hit for .267/.321/.410 with 19 doubles, 7 triples, 6 home runs, 31 RBIs and 21 stolen bases in 356 at-bats all while missing six weeks of the season with a broken bone in his hand.
Here’s what his scouting report on MLB.com details about the young prospect
Johnson’s physical strength and lightning-quick bat speed help him to generate plus raw power from the left side of the plate, and he surprised with his ability to get to it consistently during games in 2017. Improved plate discipline and pitch recognition, along with better feel for using the entire field, gives Johnson a chance to hit for average, but he will always have some swing-and-miss to his game and will need figure out left-handed pitching. Johnson also knows how to impact games on the basevpaths with his plus speed, though his base stealing technique leaves something to be desired.
The Nationals were pleased with Johnson’s defensive strides in 2017 and believe he has a non-zero chance of sticking in center field. He’s also seen considerable playing time in right field, and some evaluators think that will be his long-term home on account of his cannon arm. Johnson could develop into a dynamic outfielder who contributes in all facets of the game if his development goes as hoped, while his power-speed combo portends a solid big league floor.
Jefry Rodriguez had been with the Nationals since signing as an amateur free agent in 2012. Prior to the 2018 season, MLB Pipeline had him as the Nationals 17th best prospect.
The 25-year-old made his major league debut back in June and made 14 appearances (8 starts) during his rookie season.
He pitched 52 innings and was 3-3 with a 5.71 ERA. He struck out 39 batters while walking 37 and he gave up 8 home runs while hitters averaged .228 against him (.198 against righties, .261 against lefties).
The Indians have him under team control through 2024.