November 03rd, 2012: Blue Jays trade Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles for Esmil Rogers
Perhaps underratedly so, the Blue Jays’ decision to trade away catcher Yan Gomes in November 2012 is one of the worst trades of the decade for the franchise.
Though he only managed an OPS of .631 in his lone season with the club, he soon turned out to be an incredibly valuable asset for his new team, the Cleveland Indians, who only gave up hurler Esmil Rogers (who would pitch to an ERA of 4.77 the following year in Toronto) to get him.
In 2014, a year after joining the Indians, Gomes, 26 at the time, won a Silver Slugger award and slashed a solid .278/.313/.472 with 21 homers. Over the next three seasons, all with Cleveland on a reasonably priced deal, he would post an OPS of .643 and added 35 homers, 135 RBI, 48 doubles and 103 runs in 274 games.
His 2018 season, which brought him his first career All-Star nod, saw him smash 16 home runs and drive in 48 while slashing .266/.313/.449.
Now a member of the Washington Nationals, Gomes, who spent no more than three years in the Blue Jays system, is a more discrete, yet still disappointing, example of how trading away young assets can come back to bite an organization. Though he didn’t appear to have much promise at the time (having only been drafted in the 10th round), he soon turned into one of the most dependable catchers in the American League.
An unassumingly productive backstop, Gomes is predicted by Fangraphs’ Steamer system to slash .241/.295/.408 and put up a wRC+ of 86 in 2019 while adding 10 home runs and 34 RBI to his totals. Since being traded to Cleveland, he’s been worth a WAR of 11.8.
Jays Journal Contributor: Hayden Godfrey