The Rays formally announced their signing of catcher Wilson Ramos today. The deal was reached last Tuesday at the Winter Meetings but finalized this morning.
It’s a two-year, $12.5 million contract, which will pay him about twice as much in 2018 than it will in 2017. Which makes sense, of course, as he is still recovering from ACL surgery and will not begin the season on time. The deal could pay Ramos an additional $5.75 million in incentives based on playing time. For his part, Ramos believes he can play as early as May 1, thought that seems optimistic. If he is a substantial contributor in 2017, even as a DH, it could be a bargain for Tampa Bay.
Ramos was in the midst of a career year before his late September injury, batting .307/.354/.496 with 22 home runs and 80 RBI in 523 plate appearances. Had Ramos not suffered his injury, he could’ve been looking at a deal worth as much as $40-50 million. It stinks that he lost out on that opportunity, but this deal is pretty good for him under the circumstances.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.