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

JANIE McCAULEY AP Baseball Writer Published:

Editor's Note: The Cleveland Indians season opener in Oakland against the Athletics was not completed by press time. For complete coverage, visit www.recordpub.com or see Wednesday's edition of the Record-Courier.

By Janie McCauley | Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Catcher Yan Gomes and the Cleveland Indians completed a $23 million, six-year contract Monday after his breakout season last year.

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 season 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 RBI in 88 games last season, his first with the Indians. 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.

The options may escalate by up to $3 million each based on MVP voting, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger and All-Star appearances.

"He's shown us that he's worth this contract," manager Terry Francona said. "We have that much faith in him."

Negotiations began during spring training.

"You hope that these deals are win-win deals," assistant general manager Mike Chernoff said.

The 26-year-old -- the first Brazilian-born player in the majors -- began last season at Triple-A Columbus, but after being brought up in April he stayed the rest of the year and was a major contributor as the Indians made the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Gomes was acquired from Toronto on Nov. 2, 2012.

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