The Tampa Bay Rays may have landed their biggest free agent signing in a long, long time as they scooped up catcher Wilson Ramos to the tune of 2 years, $12.5 million that includes incentives for playing time making the final number closer to $18.25 million when it’s all said and done. Ramos, who is currently recovering from a torn ACL he suffered back on September 26th, must pass a physical before the ink can dry on his contract. The 29-year old native of Venezuela has been with the Washington Nationals since 2010 and is coming off a career-year hitting 22 home runs, driving in 80, and hitting .307 while playing in 131 (also career-high) games for the NL East Champs.
Along with being an All-Star for the Nats this past season, Ramos also won his first Silver Slugger Award.
Ramos is a career .269 hitter through seven seasons in MLB. He came up with the Minnesota Twins back in 2010 after being signed as an amateur free agent back in 2004. Throughout his career he’s been known as one of the better pitch-framers in the game as well as one of the most productive catchers at the plate as well as throwing out would-be base stealers.
His 22 home runs in 2016 ranked fourth among catchers in all of baseball and his .307 avg was tied with Cardinals backstop, Yadier Molina, for best among all catchers. Maybe the most impressive statistic in 2016 for Ramos was his staggering .354 on-base percentage, good for fourth among catchers in all of baseball.
The only real downside to the Ramos signing is his recovery from his ACL injury. He isn’t due back to game action until at least June and even then, the Rays won’t be able to truly utilize his prowess behind the plate as he’d need to see time at DH before enduring the workload asked of a catcher, physically. In the meantime – look for the platoon of Luke Maile and Curt Casali to hold down the fort until Ramos is at full strength.
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