The Buffalo could migrate back to Washington

Brian Tinsman
June 24, 2018 - 10:19 pm
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Wilson Ramos is having himself something a year in Tampa Bay, and his old employers, the Washington Nationals, have something of a problem behind the plate.

A reunion could be in the works, according to MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal, who said talks between the Nats and Marlins have cooled on primary trade target J.T. Realmuto.

"[Which makes] a reunion with the Rays' Wilson Ramos that much more logical," he said. "While Ramos' defense is something of a concern--his caught stealing percentage ranks among the worst in the game, he is familiar with all of the Nationals' veteran starting pitchers and they are comfortable throwing to him.

"Now, the Nats and Rays would obviously have to find the right combination of prospects and dollars, [but] remember: Wilson Ramos is owed the balance of his $10.5 million salary this season."

The Nationals have struggled at catcher since Ramos left, following his 2016 All-Star and Silver Slugger campaign. Ramos was one of the best players on the team that season but tore his ACL on the eve of the postseason, which helped hasten the team's demise.

The injury created uncertainty around his value in free agency and ultimately led to his departure to Tampa Bay. His career line in Washington is a very good slash line of .268/.313/.430. In 126 games for the Rays over the last two seasons, Ramos has only built on that value, hitting .276/.316/.446.

The Nats have certainly failed to replace his bat in the lineup, turning to the likes of Matt Wieters (.226/.296/.349), Jose Lobaton (.170/.248/.277) and Pedro Severino (.182/.278/.236). 

Wieters was supposed to be the primary batterymate and performed well behind the plate when not hampered by injury. He's been on the disabled list since May 11 and has no clear timetable for return. Ramos has thrown out 15 percent of baserunners over the last two seasons, while Wieters threw out 30 percent. 

In Wieters' absence, the team has a good arm in Severino, who has thrown out 36 percent of would-be base stealers.

If the Nats can agree to a deal with Ramos before the trade deadline, he would be a welcome addition to an offense that's still under construction. And who doesn't like to hear 40,000 fans at Nationals Park singing "Wiiiilsooon" as he walks to the plate?

 

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