Continuing a busy offseason for the National League East, the New York Mets agreed to terms with catcher Wilson Ramos on a two-year deal worth $19 million guaranteed. The breakdown of the deal has Ramos earning $8.25 million in 2019, $9.25 million in 2020 and a club option worth $10 million with a $1.5 million buyout. Ramos can make up to $27.5 million overall.
The Mets had reportedly been exceptionally active in the hunt for J.T. Realmuto but decided that the Marlins’ asking price was too extreme. They are the second team to abandon pursuit of the Marlins catcher over the past few days, as Atlanta will not be continuing talks. The Marlins are rapidly losing leverage in trade talks, and could be forced to either hold him until the deadline or accept a lesser return than they had hoped.
Ramos had himself quite the year in 2018, as he posted a strong .306/.358/.487 with 15 home runs between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays and earning his second career All-Star nod. While I would expect some regression based on his .353 BABIP, he has always shown to have an excellent contact ability with very strong power on top of above-average defense. Quite frankly, I’m shocked to see that Ramos was only able to earn a $19.5 million guarantee over two years. Despite health concerns, Ramos is still a relatively youthful 31 years old and won’t turn 32 until August. Based on the fact that Kurt Suzuki, who is four years his senior, was able to secure a two-year guarantee, I had expected a contract closer to three years for about $30 million.
Ramos will slot in as the Mets’ primary option behind the plate, with one of Kevin Plawecki, Travis d’Arnaud, and Tomas Nido backing the All-Star up. I would imagine that the Mets, who are said to have more on the horizon, could certainly flip Plawecki at some point over the next few months, as he is coming off something of a break-out campaign, while using Nido as the backup while the injured d’Arnaud is still on the shelf. Nido still has a minor league option remaining for the 2019 season, which gives them a bit more flexibility.
This is an excellent value signing for the Mets, and they aren’t finished. This move keeps the Mets in the hunt in what is shaping up to be a bloodbath of a division. The Mets will not need to make a roster accommodation to finalize this deal.