With catcher being a position the New York Mets need to address this offseason, Wilson Ramos could be a perfect fit.
It was nearly a year ago when long-time fan favorite, Daniel Murphy, broke New York Mets’ fans hearts by signing a three-year, $37.5 million contract to join the Washington Nationals after spending his first eight big league seasons in orange and blue.
Clearly, the decision of letting Murphy leave for the team’s biggest division rival backfired for Sandy Alderson and the Mets, as Murphy had an MVP-type regular season in his first year with the Nationals, batting .347 with 25 home runs, 104 RBIs, and a .390 on-base percentage.
Not to mention the Nationals won the NL East this season and are still playing October baseball, unlike the Mets. On top of that, Murph scorched his former team in every opportunity he had this season, batting .413 with seven home runs, 21 RBIs, and a .444 OBP in 75 at-bats against New York.
Sure, the Nats stole Murphy from the Mets prior to the 2016 season and it worked to perfection. Now, this upcoming offseason, the Mets have an opportunity to steal one of the Nationals’ longer tenured players as their star catcher, Wilson Ramos, hits the open market.
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Ramos has spent his last six seasons in the nation’s capital and, during that time, emerged as one of the best hitting catchers.
Since the start of 2011, he has hit at least .265 with 10 home runs and 50 RBIs in five of those six seasons. This year, Ramos had his best big league season by far as he hit .307 with 22 home runs, 80 RBIs, and a .354 OBP in 131 regular season games before going down with a torn ACL.
With that said, Ramos could definitely be a high price to pay in free agency as he had a career year in the final season of his most recent contract. But, at the same time, Ramos tearing his ACL could drop his stock, making some teams reconsider whether they want to pay as much money for a catcher who is trying to comeback from a serious injury.
Either way, the Mets need to take a risk and at least make an attempt to sign Ramos.
The catching position was an area of weakness for the Metropolitans in 2016 and definitely needs an upgrade. The Travis d’Arnaud experiment has certainly failed so far. Since the Mets called up d’Arnaud in 2013, he has never lived up to his high expectations, constantly spending time on the disabled list. Moreover, he has largely disappointed at times, both at the plate and behind the plate.
In each of his first three full big league seasons, from 2014-2016, d’Arnaud has never batted over .270, hit more than 13 home runs, or driven in more than 41 runs. Sure, injuries and trips to Triple-A have derailed him from possibly reaching his full potential, but whenever d’Arnaud was healthy, he never seemed to live up to what he could have been.
Also, not to mention he has arguably been one of the worst catchers in the game the past few seasons when it comes to throwing out base stealers from behind the plate, costing the Mets heavily at times.
2016 was without a doubt d’Arnaud’s most disappointing season yet, as he only batted .247 with four home runs, 15 RBIs, and a .307 OBP in 75 total games. The most disappointing stat of all was that he only hit .127 with no home runs and nine RBIs in 55 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
It is no secret that hitting with runners in scoring position was a point of weakness for the Mets, and their backstop was a big source of that problem.
On the other hand, Ramos was extremely productive with runners in scoring position this season, batting .333 with three home runs and 56 RBIs in 135 at-bats in those situations.
With Ramos as a free agent and the catching position becoming a glaring weakness for the New York Mets, they should make sure that Wilson Ramos is behind the dish at Citi Field come Opening Day.