As the MLB offseason begins to pick up steam, Chicago Cubs fans have been getting a slightly better idea of what the team may look like in 2024 over the past 48 hours.
According to a report from ESPN's Jesse Rogers, the Cubs have exercised their 2024 option on catcher Yan Gomes, bringing the veteran backstop back to the North Side for his third year with the team.
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Gomes, 36, will be entering his 13th big league season next year, coming off a resurgent 2023 with the Cubs.
After an underwhelming 2022 campaign in which Gomes slashed .235/.260/.365 with 20 extra-base hits and a 72 OPS+, Gomes emerged as one of the Cubs' most valuable bats in the back half of the lineup in 2023.
In 116 games in 2023, Gomes totaled 32 extra-base hits, a 93 OPS+ while posting an invaluable .769 OPS with two outs and runners in scoring position.
While the Cubs initially envisioned Gomes in an even platoon role with Tucker Barnhart in 2023, Barnhart's struggles at the plate led Gomes to take on the role of an everyday catcher later in the season, balancing time with Miguel Amaya.
A similar approach is likely in 2024, with both Gomes and Amaya returning to the Cubs, though it's reasonable to expect that Amaya's role with the club will increase considering Gomes' age.
Gomes' offense is also likely to be situationally utilized more in 2024, as the veteran had rather pronounced righty vs. lefty splits last season.
Against left-handers in 2023, Gomes amassed an .824 OPS against just a .673 OPS against right-handers, despite having a nearly identical on-base percentage against both sides of the mound.
This can also give Gomes time to slot in as a designated hitter in particular matchups, especially considering the growing rapport between Amaya and Kyle Hendricks.
Gomes, who signed a two-year deal worth $13 million before the 2022 season, will make $6 million in 2024 with his option exercised.