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Wilson Ramos: Potential Astros FA Catcher Signing?

As you guys probably remember, I have had two articles related to Realmuto in the past. Both my first ever Fanpost and a recent article analyzing the potential trade for him this off-season. Realmuto is the dream, he immediately gets added as a core player at one of the toughest positions in baseball. But realistically, there will be a sky high cost for him. So I took a look at the other potential players who could fill our needs at Catcher, and while I think Grandal is the favorite on the boards, I believe Ramos is the most likely for the Astros. Simply since he does not have any prospect cost associated with him.

So who is Wilson Ramos?

Affectionately known as the Buffalo, the 6’1, 245 lb Catcher hails from Venezuela, and thus was not exposed to the normal draft, signing as an international Free Agent back in 2006 at the age of 18. Ramos crushed the minors, but truly solidifying himself as a prospect in 2009 when he hit .324/.368/.537 in AA.

In his first full year, 2011, Wilson came out strong, hitting .267/.334/.445 for an OPS+ of 113 across 113 games. Ultimately leading him to come in 4th in the Rookie of the Year Race.

Now a two time All Star, I believe most would agree that Ramos is one of the top offensive catchers in baseball.

Defensively, Ramos is a solid contributor, but it’s not the aspect of his game that drives his value. He had a slightly above average CS rate, and generally ranks about average across the board for his defensive statistics. This is a far cry from the Maldonado approach the Astros took last year (though Ramos only had 8 past balls in 794 innings)

On the speed perspective, Ramos is much more of your standard catcher, especially with knee injuries coming in at a turtle-esque speed of 22.8 feet per second.

Projections:

Currently Depth Charts has the following line as their projection:

.270/.320/.451 across 114 games, with 19 HR, totaling a WAR of 2.8

Comparatively, this was the Astros combined triple slash last year:

.221/.295/.370 for a total of 1.7 WAR

A significant offensive upgrade from the McCann/Stassi/Maldonado combo offensively.

Steve Nesius / AP Photo

Why wouldn’t we sign him?

While Ramos isn’t young (31), he’s not too old to be viable for a contract that he could live up to, truthfully, it all comes down to health as Ramos has had a torrid past related to injuries.

Last year, Ramos was relatively healthy only suffering from a pulled hamstring, but his past is a disturbing one including a torn ACL in 2016, numerous hamstring strains, torn ligament in his knee, and fractured left hand.

What would it take?

Instead of my speculation, I am going to quote MLBTradeRumors – who even predicted us as Ramos’ destination.

From MLBTR’s top 50 Free Agents with Predictions:

“15. Wilson Ramos – Astros. Three Years. 36MM”

“With just a week left in a break out 2016 contract season, Ramos tore his right ACL – the same one he tore four years prior. Dreams of a monster four or five-year deal evaporated, and Ramos took a two-year, $12.5 MM guarantee with the Rays. He rounded back into form this year, catching nearly 800 innings for the Rays and Phillies and leading all backstops with a 131 wRC+. The 31-year-old seems primed for a solid three-year deal, perhaps with a team that can give his knees a break with some time at the designated hitter. The Astros, Red Sox, Athletics, Angels, Rockies or Dodgers could work, as could a return to D.C.

Summary

While The Buffalo has health risks, and some age concerns, he would provide a solid above average, potential All-Star behind the plate for a minimal cost. I do believe that both Grandal and Realmuto are better players with higher upside, but the financial/prospect cost doesn’t seem to justify the difference in ability. I will do a look in at Grandal as well.

Plus he likes to dance - looks like he’d fit right in with the Astros:

Let us know, would you be happy if the Astros signed Ramos?

Poll

Would you be happy if the Astros signed Ramos?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Yes
    (629 votes)
  • 18%
    No
    (143 votes)
772 votes total Vote Now