Wilson Ramos will play in a familiar setting in 2019; the National League East. He won’t, however, return to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The 31-year-old backstop has instead agreed to to a two-year deal with the division rival New York Mets. Daniel Alvarez Montes of El Extrabase was the first to report the signing. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports first noted the length of the deal, with Ken Davidoff of The New York Post saying the deal will guarantee Ramos $19 million, with incentives that could make the deal worth as much as $26 million.
The Phillies acquired Ramos prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, when they were in first place in the National League East. Though the Phillies had the opposite of team success during Ramos’ brief tenure with the club, the two-time All-Star hit .337 with 17 RBIs in 89 at-bats in red pinstripes. This all came while Ramos was nursing at least one bum hamstring, making it difficult for him to run the bases and perhaps keeping him from having an even bigger impact on the club.
There wasn’t much indication that general manager Matt Klentak and the Phillies made a push to retain Ramos. Though a two-year guarantee is perhaps less than Ramos was expected to garner, the Phillies were likely hesitant to bet on Ramos given a less-than-stellar health history. And though they have been connected to Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, Jorge Alfaro is widely expected to be the Phillies starting catcher in 2019. Still just 25, Alfaro has elite power potential at the plate and a world-class arm, though he remains extremely raw both as a hitter and a receiver.
Prior to Brian McCann ultimately returning to the Atlanta Braves, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia says the Phillies had shown interest in the veteran backstop. That may be an indication that the Phillies would like to add a more stable backup behind Alfaro. Andrew Knapp, the club’s current backup, hit .198 in 2018 and had eight errors behind he plate in less than 400 innings. There was too much of a market for Ramos for him to return to fill that role, though Nick Hundley, A.J. Ellis and Devin Mesoraco are some free-agents that could fit that bill.
Ramos, meanwhile, will join his third different National League East team. The Venezuelan born catcher spent parts of seven seasons with the Washington Nationals from 2010 to 2016.
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