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Sunday News: Yan Gomes, Bob Wickman, James Shields, and Yoan Moncada

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The Indians were competitive in both 2013 and 2014 despite having a big chunk of their payroll at underperforming free agents because of finds like Yan Gomes.

Yan Gomes
Yan Gomes
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Indians News

Terry's Talkin' about Cleveland Indians' little deals, Victor Martinez and Grady Sizemore -- Terry Pluto | cleveland.com

Pluto notes that the Toronto Blue just committed $82M to Russell Martin, who is one of the best catchers in MLB baseball, while the Indians last season signed Yan Gomes, also one of the best catchersin MLB, to a $40.95M contract that should keep him in Cleveland through most of his prime. Why the juxtaposition of these two catchers?

Toronto traded Gomes to Cleveland two offseasons ago, and in doing so cost themselves not the dollars that they've in trying to acquire a catcher of Gomes' ability, but the production at the catching position that they missed in 2013 and 2014. In 2013 their starting catcher, JP Arencibia, was worth 0.2 WAR (Wins of Replacement), and in 2014 their starter (Dioner Navarro) was worth 2.3 WAR. Over those two seasons Gomes has given the Indians 8.6 WAR. If the Blue Jays had done absolutely nothing besides giving Gomes the starting nod at catcher in 2013, they probably would have gotten similar production. But because they traded him, they just spent $82M to find his replacement.

That the Indians were able to find a catcher for so little cost is one reason why they were competitive in 2013 and 2014 despite the amount of money given to Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn.

Wickman Remains Atop Tribe’s All-Time Saves List | Did The Tribe Win Last Night?

All of us who lived through Bob Wickman's tenure as closer for the Indians had a love/hate relationship with him at times. His saves were adventurous at times, but more often than not he'd get the job done. In 2005, he was especially good, and was one of the reasons why the Indians came within a Seth McClung of making the playoffs.

MLB News

Padres looking like favorites to land Shields | MLB.com

If this does happen, it would mean Max Scherzer and James Shields, who the Indians face six between them in 2014, will both be on National League teams in 2015. The Indians will not face either the Nationals or the Padres in 2015, at least in the regular season.

Making sense of Moncada's top 5 suitors | MLB.com

As discussed earlier, Moncada is subject to the International free agent pool, so any team that goes past their pool amount to sign him will be subject to not only a 100% tax on every dollar spent over their cap, but restrictions on the types of players they can sign in future years. However, Moncada is the type of player that clubs may be willing to take those penalties (both financial and competitive) for. According to the article, the Yankees seem to be the team most willing to swallow the penalties for signing him.