The Indians are apparently trying to put an end to the days of Cleveland being a stopover for rising stars who wind up being traded when their value skyrockets.
The Indians on Monday finalized a six-year, $23 million contract extension with 26-year-old catcher Yan Gomes. The deal also has two club options and could extend through 2021. Cleveland signed Gomes less than two months after they signed outfielder Michael Brantley to a five-year, $25 million contract extension.
"It's kind of a proud moment for our organization because we got a guy that we really think a lot of tied up for a long time," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He's going to be a big part of what we do. I was really proud of the efforts because it takes effort to get something like that done."
Gomes said it was a "pretty easy" decision to sign such a long deal with Cleveland, even though he had to give up the potential for arbitration and free agency during that span.
"It goes into what it means to be in this organization," said Gomes, who went 1-for-3 and was hit by a pitch Monday night in the Indians' 2-0 victory over Oakland. "You got younger guys just wanting to be here. We're potentially signing (for) a big amount of our careers. There's not another place I would want to be with, especially from the top to the bottom here. It's the organization you want to be with."
Gomes, the first Brazilian-born player in major league history, came to the Indians from Toronto with utility man Mike Aviles as part of a November 2012 trade for pitcher Esmil Rogers. Gomes began last season with Triple-A Columbus and eventually unseated Carlos Santana as the Indians' No. 1 catcher.
"It's extremely meaningful to have that group of guys here for the long term and to know from a planning standpoint that we have this core group of guys that we can continue building as a group," Indians assistant general manager Mike Chernoff said. "I think equally as important, a lot of those guys are guys that chose to be here. So whether it's (Francona) or a guy like Yan or some of the players last year who signed here, they all want to be here. It's an environment, a culture that people want to be a part of, and I think that's equally as exciting as just knowing they'll be here."