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Cubs sign Yan Gomes, Reds sign Aramis Garcia

Two former A’s catchers find new homes

Oakland Athletics v Toronto Blue Jays
Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Two catchers who played for the Oakland A’s in 2021 found new homes in free agency this week.

On Monday, Aramis Garcia signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds. On Tuesday, Yan Gomes agreed with the Chicago Cubs on a deal for two years and $13 million, plus an option for a third year.

The A’s began the 2021 season with Garcia as their second catcher, and he played 32 games for them. However, he didn’t hit much in part-time duty, and he was eventually replaced midseason and released in September. His new deal with the Reds includes an invitation to spring training.

  • Garcia, 2021: .205/.239/.318, 55 wRC+, 3 HR, 1.1% BB, 29.8% Ks, .229 xwOBA

When Garcia headed down to the minors at the end of July, it was Gomes who took his place in Oakland. The A’s acquired Gomes as a rental from the Nationals at the trade deadline, but his usually solid bat went quiet in 40 games down the stretch. His career highlights include an All-Star berth in 2018 and a championship ring in 2019, and he begins next season at age 34.

  • Gomes, 2021 MLB: .252/.301/.421, 93 wRC+, 14 HR, 5.1% BB, 20.8% Ks
  • Gomes, 2021 OAK: .221/.264/.366, 74 wRC+, 5 HR, 4.3% BB, 22.1% Ks

Moving forward, the A’s catcher position still belongs to Sean Murphy, who won the Gold Glove this year for his highly touted defense. Behind him on the depth chart is bat-first slugger Austin Allen, the only other backstop on the 40-man roster. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them add another body to the group this winter, at the very least for the purpose of depth at the most specialized position on the diamond.

Garcia was already out of the A’s organization before the season ended, but the news on Gomes means another name to cross off the team’s list of departing free agents.

  • LHP Andrew Chafin
  • LHP Jake Diekman
  • RHP Mike Fiers
  • RHP Yusmeiro Petit
  • RHP Sergio Romo
  • RHP Trevor Rosenthal
  • C Yan Gomes (CHC, 2/$13m)
  • UT Josh Harrison
  • 2B Jed Lowrie
  • OF Mark Canha (NYM, 2/$26m)
  • OF Starling Marte (NYM, 4/$78m)
  • DH Khris Davis
  • DH Mitch Moreland

Meanwhile, the rest of the AL West division is loading up. The Seattle Mariners made a couple of splashy moves this week, and the Texas Rangers spent enormous money on a few free agents. Oakland did at least tender contracts to all 10 of their arbitration-eligible players.