Former Washington Nationals All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos is heading to Tampa Bay pending a physical after Washington decided to move on from him following this past season. Ramos was elected to the National League All-Star team for the first time this past season and won his first Silver Slugger award as well.
Ramos underwent Lasik eye surgery prior to the 2016 season and it helped as the stats showed. In 2015, prior to the eye surgery, Ramos hit for a .229 batting average and amassed 15 home runs with 68 RBIs. In 2016, Ramos had career highs in all three of those categories, hitting for a .307 batting average with 22 home runs, accompanied by 80 RBIs, all career highs for the seven-year veteran.
Ramos tore his ACL late in the season, as the Nationals looked towards the playoffs, forcing Dusty Baker to use top prospect Pedro Severino, who looked sharp but, alas, that is a different story for a different article.
Tampa Bay doesn’t expect “The Buffalo” to catch at first, reportedly planning to make him a designated hitter at first sometime around June or July before easing him in behind the plate. Tampa Bay gains in Ramos solid control behind home plate and a player who looks to have all his past vision issues behind him, but the gains from Ramos are not limited to the field. Ramos was a fan favorite in Washington and a smiling face in the clubhouse, something any team can use.
The two-year deal guarantees $12.5 million, but after incentives, Ramos can earn up to $18.5 million. The real worth of Ramos will not be known until 2018 when Ramos hopefully is healthy again.