Tampa found their catcher on Monday, agreeing to terms with former Washington National Wilson Ramos on a 2-year $12.5M contract (with an additional $5.75M in incentives). Before suffering a serious knee injury in the final week of the regular season, Ramos was poised to cash in at a much higher dollar amount and longer term.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times noted that Ramos was ahead of schedule in his rehab, however he still won’t be able to join the Rays lineup until April or May, and likely in an immediate DH role.
Even though Ramos finished the 2015 season by reaching the 500 plate appearance mark for the first time in his career, his offensive production left something to be desired as he slashed just .229/.258/.358, had 4.2% BB and 20% K rates, and his 63 wRC+ was well below the 85 wRC+ league average for catchers in 2015.
However he broke out in a big way in 2016, slashing .307/.354/.496, increasing his walk rate to 6.7% and cutting 4.9% off his strikeout rate. His 124 wRC+ led all qualified MLB catchers and his 3.5 fWAR was tied with JT Realmuto for 3rd. He won his first Silver Slugger award and was named to his first All Star Game.