When the New York Mets signed Wilson Ramos, many fans rejoiced. Nearly two years later, we look back at the deal with much regret.
I remember it well. The moment when it became official that the New York Mets had signed Wilson Ramos, fans all over social media were excited. No longer would we suffer through the platoon of backups and Triple-A players. We had a real catcher on the ball club.
It’s amazing how some opinions age so poorly. Back then, the main concern with Ramos was that he has a history of injury. I felt this was a little overblown.
Of course he gets hurt! He’s a catcher. It’s what they do.
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Ramos never did suffer any major injury during his time with the Mets. We’re fortunate, in that way. We didn’t have to see the team promote a minor leaguer too quickly or call upon a 37-year-old free agent to start every day.
Remaining healthy didn’t help Ramos endear himself to the fans in Flushing. Aside from his hitting streak in 2019, the man was often ridiculed for his poor ability behind the plate. Pitchers spoke out about their dislike of throwing to him.
And suddenly, one of the best free agent signings made by Brodie Van Wagenen in his first winter with the team, had become a dud.
No one could have foreseen such a downward spiral. Ramos caught many years for the Washington Nationals. Their talented arms threw to him often. The same thing happened during his brief stint with the Tampa Bay Rays. There were no loud, public complaints. In fact, I seem to recall quite the opposite at times.
That’s the thing about a catcher and pitcher relationship. It’s like any we have in life with others. Chemistry is essential. Ramos, either out of ability or a lack of time, just didn’t have it with the Mets starters. It showed in the numbers. While a part of this may have been mental, there’s no denying the outcome.
Like many of the moves Van Wagenen made in the first winter, this one looked good on paper. The third-year option will help save the Mets this current offseason even if BVW is ushered out the door. I’m curious if BVW already had J.T. Realmuto’s free agent season in mind when he had The Buffalo put his John Hancock on the contract.
Ramos wasn’t a horrific player in his two seasons with the Mets. Compared to others around the league, he put up some terrific offensive numbers.
As a defensive player that touches the ball second to only the pitcher, it wasn’t enough.
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Looking back at it, we can’t blame Brodie for trying. We can only shake our heads in frustration as to why this didn’t work out better.