New York Mets News

Mets swing surprise deal for AJ Ramos

By Emmanuel Pepis

The Mets sent two prospects in a deal to acquire AJ Ramos who is still under control through 2018

In what many would look at as a surprising move on the surface, the New York Mets turned into buyers late Friday night. Ken Rosenthal reported that Sandy Alderson pulled off a trade for Marlins closer, AJ Ramos. The Mets sent back prospects, Merandy Gonzalez and Ricardo Cespedes.

Ramos has been the Marlins’ closer since 2015 and has compiled 92 saves in that span. This season, Ramos converted on 20 of 22 save chances and has pitched to a 3.63 ERA in 40 games. He has allowed 30 hits and 22 walks in 39.2 innings. Ramos blew six saves in his first full year as a closer, but has blown just five between 2016 and this season to date. The biggest issue in Ramos’ career has been walks (4.9 per nine innings).

The Mets are looking to creatively re-construct their bullpen to contend once again in 2018. Addison Reed will most likely still be dealt. However, Ramos is under control through next season as well. With that in mind, Joel Sherman mentions the plan of teaming Ramos with Jerry Blevins and Jeurys Familia to form the back end of the pen next season.

Ramos has one of the more diverse pitching arsenals you’ll find among true relievers. He offers a four-pitch mix, but has barely used his curveball this year. Ramos uses his fastball and slider equally and throws in a changeup at near 20 percent.

Gonzalez was the Mets’ ninth-ranked prospect while Cespedes checks in at 22nd on the Mets’ prospect list. Gonzalez has put together a fantastic year between Columbia and St. Lucie with a 12-3 mark and a 1.76 ERA. Gonzalez’s fastball and curveball both grade above average according to MLBPipeline. The Mets signed him in 2013 at age 18.

Cespedes was even further away from the big leagues. He was signed for $725,000 in 2013 and is 19 years old. He hasn’t been above Low A ball yet. This season Cespedes has hit .255 with 15 RBI and 26 runs in 29 games. The Mets are light on outfield prospects, but have enough depth and youth for the near future between Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Juan Lagares. And of course, the Mets have Yoenis Cespedes for three more years.

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The Mets certainly needed bullpen help going forward and Sandy Alderson has gotten a jump start on that issue with this deal. Reed will most likely still be dealt, but a Blevins-Ramos-Familia trio is still solid to build around.