B.J. Upton survived the trade deadline in a Rays’ uniform, but there’s still a chance he could have a new home before the end of the season.
According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, Upton was claimed off revocable waivers by an unknown team.
Topkin suspects the mystery team could be the Nationals, who have expressed interest in the past, though Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post wrote earlier this week that “there’s healthy debate within the Nationals about the merits of making Upton their answer in center field.”
The Rays have until Monday to work out a trade with the claiming team, but Topkin believes a deal is unlikely at this time.
Upton, 27, is batting .223/.303/.387 with 17 homers, 58 RBI, 26 stolen bases and a .691 OPS over 499 plate appearances this season. He is making $4.825 million in 2011 and is arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter.
The Mets have signed catcher Wilson Ramos to a two-year deal, SNY’s Andy Martino reports. The total value of the contract is $19 million, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman.
Ramos, 31, split last season between the Rays and Phillies, putting up one of the best offensive seasons among catchers. In 416 total plate appearances, he hit .306/.358/.487 with 15 home runs and 70 RBI.
Ramos will presumably get the lion’s share of plate appearances behind the plate with Travis d'Arnaud backing him up. Grandal was made a qualifying offer, so the Mets would have had to forfeit a draft pick to sign him. And, of course, Realmuto would have cost prospects. Ramos simply costs money.
The Mets were aggressively pursuing a catching upgrade, having been involved in rumors surrounding J.T. Realmuto and Yasmani Grandal, but ultimately settled on Ramos. New GM Brodie Van Wagenen has made a significant impact on the team already, having also added second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz from a trade with the Mariners.