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November 30th, 2018

WASHINGTON - The Nationals are in discussions to acquire catcher from the Indians, a source told MLB.com on Friday evening, putting the Nats in position to make their second move of the winter behind the plate.
A deal was not done as of Friday, but there appeared to be some momentum between the two sides to complete the deal, although the return from Washington had yet to be confirmed. About two weeks ago, the Nats' signed free agent catcher to a two-year deal worth $10 million, and the combination of Gomes and Suzuki could give them a formidable duo at a position that has been a weakness since departed for free agency in 2016.
Nationals catchers ranked 27th in MLB with a 64 wRC+ last season and their combined 0.5 Wins Above Replacement ranked 24th, according to Fangraphs. Instead of counting on one player for an upgrade, the Nats could lean on a combination of Gomes and Suzuki.
Gomes, 31, is coming off a resurgent 2018 season where he made the AL All-Star team for the first time. He posted a .762 OPS with a career-best 26 doubles, 16 home runs and 2.2 WAR, seventh best in MLB. Even though he has had some ups and downs at the plate throughout his career, Gomes does brings some much needed defensive value to Washington. He ranked 15th in framing runs last season and has thrown out 33.8 percent of opposing baserunners over the past five seasons.
Gomes will be under team control this season with a $9 million team option for 2020 and an $11 million team option for 2021, the kind of contract flexibility the Nationals value greatly in a deal.