Cleveland has been adding some formerly intriguing names as minor-league depth and the latest is Andy LaRoche, who agreed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
LaRoche, whose brother Adam LaRoche is the Nationals’ first baseman, will join guys like Felix Pie and Jose Lopez in competing for a spot on the Indians’ bench, but will most likely head back to Triple-A again.
He was once a top prospect with the Dodgers, but LaRoche has hit just .226 with a .642 OPS in 403 games as a big leaguer spent with three different teams and even his minor-league numbers were underwhelming in 2011.
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.