General manager Mike Rizzo said Tuesday that the Nationals are preparing for Gomes to draw the majority of the team's starts at catcher in 2021, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports. "I think Yan's capable of it," Rizzo said. "It's such a demanding, physically taxing position that we certainly would like to take a little bit of burden off him. But I think he's capable of playing 90 to 110 games at least."
Gomes has been part of a roughly even timeshare with Kurt Suzuki in both of the past two seasons, appearing in 127 of the team's 222 regular-season games (57.2 percent) over that stretch. While the Nationals aren't expected to bring back Suzuki in free agency, Rizzo noted the team does plan to bring in another veteran backstop this winter, though seemingly not a player that would challenge Gomes for the top spot on the depth chart. With that in mind, Gomes -- health prevailing -- should be in a good spot to reach 400 plate appearances for the first time since his final season in Cleveland in 2018, perhaps making him one of the more intriguing fantasy options in a weak catcher pool.