With the surging Indians still holding on to their first place lead now into the Summer months, the "Will they make a big move?" question just keeps coming up more and more. Had you asked at the beginning of the year "If the Tribe was in first place midway through July do you think they would make a deadline deal?", the answer would have almost definitely been "Yes, they'll get a big bat in the outfield". However, not only has their offense far surpassed expectations, their outfield of Tyler Naquin, Lonnie Chisenhall, Rajai Davis, and Jose Ramirez has been extremely good. While you would still think they could certainly use a bat, there is now a question of where to put him especially with All-star left fielder Michael Brantley close to a return. While it may not have been the best way for that question to be answered, Cleveland might have gotten that answer today.
Former Silver Slugger Award winning catcher Yan Gomes was removed from the game today, and could be facing a lengthy DL stint
Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports
The past two years have been anything but kind to 2014 AL Silver Slugger award winning catcher Yan Gomes. "The Yanimal" hit .278 with 21 HR and 74 RBI in just 135 games for Cleveland in 2014, and his future in Cleveland looked great. After an injury in April of 2015, Gomes just has not been able to put it together offensively. Yan ended the 2015 season hitting just .231 with 12 HR and 45 RBI, and has gotten off to an even slower start this year hitting .165 with 8 HR and 32 RBI. This afternoon Gomes beat out a hustle double on a ball that was deflected by the pitcher to break an 0-27 slump, but in his next at bat got inured running through first on a ground-out to third. What initially looked like a knee and shoulder injury has been ruled just a shoulder injury, and Gomes will be evaluated in Cleveland tomorrow. Roberto Perez will be activated from the disabled list to take his place, but it may open up an interesting spot for Cleveland to stick a bat. While Cleveland has not lost faith in Gomes by any stretch, he may be out for a long time and a Roberto Perez/Chris Gimenez catching duo is not the ideal situation for a playoff run.
It is all but a done deal that Brewers backstop Jonathan Lucroy will be traded before the end of the season, and with Gomes out Cleveland may decide to go that route
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Two-time All-star, 30 year old veteran Jonathan Lucroy may not be at the top of Cleveland's list as a potential deadline target, but things may change depending on what news they hear on Gomes. Lucroy has consistently been one of the best offensive catchers in the game for the past four seasons and he is continuing it in 2016, hitting .303 with 12 HR, 45 RBI, and 16 doubles. Milwaukee is in the middle of a big rebuild mode and has been made very public that it is likely Lucroy will be moved sooner rather than later. While there are several teams that may be highly interested in him, should Cleveland decide they want another bat he might be the best route to go. Outfielders like Jay Bruce, Josh Reddick, and Carlos Beltran have all been brought up, but especially now with the injury to Gomes you really wouldn't want to push out one of their outfielders who are playing so well this season. It could be a long shot that Cleveland has even thought about Lucroy, but the chances of them considering him or pulling the trigger to get him are getting higher every day.