MLB Trade Rumors: Indians' Yan Gomes, SPs Receiving 'Significant' Interest

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2018

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 21: Yan Gomes #7 of the Cleveland Indians rounds the bases on a two run homer during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Progressive Field on September 21, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Cleveland Indians are "drawing significant trade interest" in All-Star catcher Yan Gomes and their starting pitchers on the market, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Monday.

Rosenthal spoke to a front-office executive who said the Indians are "scrambling to get young players."

ESPN's Buster Olney reported earlier this month Cleveland was willing to listen to offers for a number of proven veterans, including Gomes, Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Edwin Encarnacion.

Olney cited "market constraints" as the reason for the Indians deciding to trim payroll after winning three straight division titles.

According to Baseball Reference, Cleveland is estimated to have a $132.3 million payroll in 2019. While that number seems large for a smaller-market franchise such as the Indians, the team had payrolls of $124.1 million and $134.8 million in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Still, it would appear any improvements to the roster will have to come with an accompanying departure.

Gomes is a somewhat puzzling player to try to move this offseason. He tied for sixth in WAR among catchers (2.2) despite only appearing in 112 games, per FanGraphs. His $7 million salary is almost exactly in line with his overall value since he'll be the eighth-highest-paid catcher next year, according to Spotrac.

By trading Gomes, the Indians would be showing a lot of confidence in Eric Haase since Haase would presumably be the starting catcher over Roberto Perez.

Whatever defensive value Perez provides is negated by his .205 career batting average and .340 career slugging percentage. Haase didn't look great in his brief cameo in the majors last year, but he has a .237/.292/.449 slash line and 21 home runs in 122 Triple-A appearances.

The Indians have yet to actually trade any of the key players responsible for their recent playoff runs, so it's unfair to judge the front office too harshly. Still, the optics aren't great when a team with a clear championship window is trying to cut costs.

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