The Mets have agreed to a deal with free agent catcher Wilson Ramos, SNY's Andy Martino confirmed.
The deal is for two years and is pending a physical, adds Martino, who reports that with the signing of Ramos, the Mets are out on a potential trade for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.
The Mets, who also had a meeting with representatives for free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal, had been weighing both before deciding they liked Ramos more, a source told Martino.
The deal is worth $19 million and can be worth as much as $27.5 million if the Mets exercise the option for the 2021 season, reports Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.
Ramos, 31, hit .306/.358/.487 with 15 homers and 22 doubles in 111 games with the Rays and Phillies in 2018. For his career, Ramos is a .273/.317/.439 hitter with 109 homers in nine seasons with the Twins, Nationals, Rays, and Phillies.
Had the Mets signed Grandal (who rejected a qualifying offer from the Dodgers), they would have had to give up their second-highest pick in the 2019 MLB Draft.
Had the Mets traded for Realmuto, they almost certainly would have had to give up one of Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, or Amed Rosario, plus prospects.
Instead, they locked in Ramos. who was one of the best-hitting catchers in baseball in 2018, and whose .845 OPS was better than Realmuto's.
Defensively, Ramos was worth -5 DRS this past season while throwing out 29 percent of would-be base-stealers. That caught stealing rate jumped up in 23 games with the Phils, where he gunned down 44 percent of runners. As far as pitch-framing, Ramos has been MLB average over the last five seasons.
The Mets had been open about their desire to add a starting catcher who can push either Travis d'Arnaud or Kevin Plawecki to a backup role.
While the team recently tendered d'Arnaud a contract, they will be able to cut him before the season starts if they choose while owing him just a small portion of what he'll get via arbitration.