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Yan Gomes is the best catcher in the American League

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No one in the AL has a sound case for being a better backstop than Yan.

Jason Miller

Three weeks ago Chad made the case that Yan Gomes has been the Indians' best player this season. He wouldn't quite get my vote (I'd be more likely to support him if the title were best human player), but he's certainly in the top three, and it's been seven years since the Tribe had a trio of players posting seasons as strong as Gomes, Corey Kluber, and Michael Brantley are this year, so however you order that top three, Gomes is having a great year. Looking beyond just the Cleveland roster, Gomes has staked a more definite claim to another crown:

Yan Gomes is the best catcher in the American League.

If you want to look at just this season...

fWAR:

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  1. Yan Gomes: 4.0
  2. Salvador Perez: 2.9
  3. Derek Norris: 2.8

bWAR:

  1. Yan Gomes: 3.9
  2. Salvador Perez: 3.4
  3. Derek Norris: 2.7

WARP:

  1. Yan Gomes: 3.1
  2. Derek Norris: 2.2
  3. Salvador Perez: 1.9

If you think you need to at a larger sample than just one season... Go ahead and combine 2013 and 2014, you might decide to slide Houston's Jason Castro in front of Norris, but Gomes is still on top of the heap, with 7.6 bWAR, 8.1 fWAR, and 6.2 WARP.

If you think those metrics are flawed because they ignore pitch-framing... Well, Yan Gomes turns more balls into strikes than any of the other three guys I've mentioned.

If you think those metrics are flawed because defense is too difficult to be accurately assessed, and only the offensive components inspire confidence... Know that Gomes. 128 wRC+ over the last two years is the highest of any catcher in either league.

Any reasonable way you slice it, Yan Gomes is the best catcher in the American League, and the Indians have him under team control through 2021, and will pay him a total of just $21 million for the next five seasons.