Gomes, Indians finalize $23M, 6-year deal

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 31, 2014 at 8:14 pm •  Published: March 31, 2014

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Catcher Yan Gomes finds no issues in making a long-term commitment to the Cleveland Indians.

He is confident the franchise's strides in a turnaround 2013 season will carry over to future success starting this season.

Gomes and the Indians completed a $23 million, six-year contract Monday after his breakout performance last season.

"It goes into what it means to be in this organization. You've got younger guys like ourselves just wanting to be here," Gomes said. "We're potentially signing 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."

That feeling is mutual, even if Gomes provided a small sample size of the impact he can make behind the plate and with the bat. Assistant general manager Mike Chernoff and others in the front office are impressed with Gomes' constant work to better learn Cleveland's pitchers so they all find a comfort zone together.

Gomes' deal includes club options for 2020 and '21 that could bring the total to $42 million over eight years — or even $48 million with escalators.

"This is the organization I want to be with, that actually made it pretty easy," Gomes said before the scheduled opener in rain-soaked Oakland. "I'm so thankful for that. My wife and I are excited to be Cleveland Indians for a while now. ... We got a little taste of the postseason last year. That's what we play for."

Gomes hit .294 with 11 homers and 38 RBIs in 88 games last season, his first with the Indians. The Indians went 49-30 when Gomes started, and manager Terry Francona went with Gomes during crucial games down the September stretch.

"It's kind of been the motto of my career — I've always had to battle. It's not going to stop," Gomes said. "This is a huge blessing getting a contract like this, but now we're talking about taking this team to another level."

His new deal supersedes a previous one-year contract for 2014. The deal replaces a contract he agreed to in early March calling for a $513,000 salary in the majors and $281,000 in the minors.

Gomes receives a $500,000 signing bonus, payable within 30 days of the contract's approval, and salaries of $550,000 salary this year, $1 million in 2015, $2.5 million in 2016, $4.5 million in 2017, $5.95 million in 2018 and $7 million in 2019. Cleveland has a $9 million option for 2020 with a $1 million buyout, and if that is exercised the Indians would have an $11 million option for 2021.

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