Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
With their signing of free agent catcher Wilson Ramos to a two-year deal with a third-year option, the Mets are now out on a potential trade for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, reports SNY's Andy Martino.
That of course also means they're out on free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal, who they were considering along with Ramos.
The above is a good thing for the Mets. Yes, it would have been exciting to add Realmuto. But in the end, the Mets made the smarter move. And the smarter move is also the better move. Here's why...
Ramos had the best OPS of any catcher in baseball in 2018
Realmuto was arguably the best catcher in baseball in 2018, but Ramos had him beat when it came to OPS, with his checking in at .840 compared to Realmuto's .825. Grandal's OPS was right behind Realmuto, at .815.
Overall, Ramos hit .306/.358/.487 with 15 homers and 22 doubles in 111 games with the Rays and Phillies.
Realmuto hit .277/.340/.484 with 21 homers and 30 doubles in 125 games for the Marlins, while Grandal hit .241/.349/.466 with 24 homers and 23 doubles in 140 games for the Dodgers.
Ramos' career line (.273/.317/.439) is also similar to Realmuto's (.279/.327/.442).
While Ramos has an injury history that is a bit scary and doesn't bring the same kind of defensive ability as Realmuto or Grandal, signing him for two years guaranteed over going for Realmuto or Grandal was a no-brainer because...
Ramos won't cost the Mets anything but money
By adding Ramos, the Mets get to keep Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, and Amed Rosario -- three incredibly important pieces of their core. If they had traded for Realmuto, they would've almost certainly had to part with one of them plus prospects from a farm system that has already taken a hit this offseason with the trade of Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn.
Trading for Realmuto would have meant the Mets creating one hole on the roster in order to fill another, while giving more years of team control than they were getting back. It also would have meant giving in to the Marlins and their absurd trade demands. Now that they haven't, Derek Jeter and his front office can try to rip someone else off instead.
Meanwhile, if the Mets had signed Grandal (who rejected the Dodgers' qualifying offer), he would have cost them their second-highest pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. That's not as important as their first-rounder, but for a team that badly needs farm system reinforcements, it simply wasn't worth it with Ramos available on such a team-friendly deal in terms of both years and dollars.
Choosing Ramos over Realmuto and Grandal is probably good news for Noah Syndergaard's future in Queens
Before landing Ramos, the Mets had been aggressive in their pursuit of Realmuto -- and two iterations of a potential deal for Realmuto had Syndergaard being traded.
As Martino tweeted soon after confirming the Ramos signing, him being on board and the Mets being out on Realmuto is likely good news when it comes to Syndergaard staying in orange and blue.
Trading Syndergaard in a deal for Realmuto would have been a disaster unless the Mets were getting something else significant in return. And trading Syndergaard at all at this point is probably not in the Mets' best interest -- not with the best trade fits refusing to part with their most valuable pieces and most of the starting pitching options to replace Syndergaard off the board.
Now it seems the likeliest scenario has the Mets going into the 2019 season with Syndergaard -- and a much-improved roster around him.