Carlos Santana entered 2013 as the Indians' primary catcher, with Gomes serving as the backup. Gomes started earning more playing time after the All-Star break, replacing Santana as the team's primary catcher during the final two months of the season.
Gomes is considered a stronger defender and game-caller than Santana, whose defense is below-average. He also contributed offensively during the second half of the season, batting .319/.385/.485 after the All-Star break.
Santana is an excellent hitter, batting .268/.377/.455 over 642 plate appearances last year. He started to see more playing time at first base and designated hitter later in the season, but has made it clear that he does not want to be a full-time designated hitter.
Indians manager Terry Francona told Bastian that he talked with Santana about the situation towards the end year, and will continue the discussion in the offseason. Santana's preference is to spend more time at first base if he is not the team's regular catcher.