By hitting .337 in 33 games for the Philadelphia Phillies after being acquired prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, catcher Wilson Ramos won over quite a few fans in the Delaware Valley. But it looks increasingly unlikely Ramos will return to the Phillies in 2019.
In fact, Mark Bowman of MLB.com says the division rival Atlanta Braves have serious interest in the 31-year-old backstop:
Earlier this week, a source said Brantley and catcher Wilson Ramos were among the Braves’ top free-agent targets.
Ramos was an American League All-Star – representing the Tamp Bay Rays – in 2018, marking the second time in three years that the Venezuelan native played in the All-Star Game. Unfortunately for Ramos, he’s struggled to stay healthy throughout the most successful stretch of his nine-year major league career. When the Phillies acquired Ramos, he was on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, something manager Gabe Kapler had to manage on a day-to-day basis as the Phillies playoff hopes dwindled in the final two months of the season. More notably, Ramos tore his ACL in September of 2016, while playing for the Washington Nationals.
Still, Ramos provided a spark for the Phillies when he was able to play in the second-half of the season. Any team interested in Ramos would likely need to have a reliable insurance option – the Braves have the serviceable Tyler Flowers – but when he’s in the lineup, Ramos is one of the game’s better catchers.
Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors called Ramos the 15th best free-agent available at any position this offseason, projecting that the Houston Astros will reward him with a three-year/$33 million contract. Maria Torres of The Los Angeles Times reported last week that the Angels were one of five teams interested in Ramos. Both the Astros and Angels, being American League teams, would give Ramos the chance to DH in some games, which could help him to stay healthier. The Braves, like the Phillies, would only be able to DH him in the limited games they play in American League parks.
To this point, it’s unclear if the Phillies plan to mount an attempt to retain Ramos. Jorge Alfaro – a 25-year-old catcher with great physical tools that may or may not put things together – could very well get the bulk of starts behind the plate in 2019. However, when general manager Matt Klentak had the chance to upgrade over Alfaro with the Phillies still in the playoff race last July, he did so by acquiring Ramos. That, of course, didn’t require a multi-year commitment, though. MLB.com‘s Todd Zolecki also reported last week that the Phillies plan to check in with the Miami Marlins on star catcher J.T. Realmuto.
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