Tampa Bay Rays: Agreement in Place with Wilson Ramos

The Tampa Bay Rays and Wilson Ramos have agreed on a two-year deal pending a physical. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Tampa Bay Rays and Wilson Ramos have agreed on a two-year deal pending a physical. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Tampa Bay Rays may have found that “lightning in a bottle” and the catcher they so coveted with the pending signing of Wilson Ramos.

Tis’ the season to be jolly and Day Two of the Winter Meetings for the Tampa Bay Rays could really turn into a jolly season if the gamble on the pending agreement to sign free agent catcher Wilson Ramos plays out.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report the pending deal. Jon Heyman of FanRag reported that the pending agreement is for two-years at $12.5 million guaranteed with incentives that could boost the deal over $18 million.

As of this writing, the Rays have not confirmed the signing and will only confirm such after Ramos undergoes his physical.  Everything should become finalized in a few days according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

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No doubt, the impending signing is a big risk for the Rays, as Wilson will be returning from surgery that repaired tears to his ACL and meniscus. Wilson sustained the injury on September 27 ending his season prematurely with surgery performed on October 14.

Ramos was hopeful of a May or June return, however the Rays expect him to return to action between June and July.

Regardless of when Ramos returns, the Rays just want him to be healthy and to produce as much as he possibly can, not just in 2017 but 2018 as well.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes that Ramos will make $4 million in 2017 and $8.25 in 2018 and that the incentives will cover plate appearances and games played.

Ramos declined a three-year, $30 million-plus extension offer from the Nationals in August, and would have been headed to a big payday via free agency as the best catcher available had he not sustained the injury.

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Because of the uncertainty regarding Ramos’ knee, the Washington Nationals did not extend him a qualifying offer and the Rays will not have to give up a draft pick as the result of his signing.

From a financial standpoint, this was a big “payday” win… It will only get better for the Rays if Ramos can pick-up where he left off prior to his injury.

Having a career year prior to his injury, Ramos set career highs with 22 HR, 25 doubles, 80 RBI, .307 batting average along with a .354 on-base percentage and .496 slugging percentage. He was a first-time All-Star in 2016 and went on to win his first Silver Slugger Award based on his offensive production.

StatCorner rates Ramos as a slightly below-average pitch framer, but he has a reputation for solid defense behind the plate with a strong arm.

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In parts of six previous seasons with the Twins and Nationals, Ramos hit .258 with 61 homers, 241 RBIs and a .711 OPS.