Will Venable was already under team control through 2015, but Corey Brock of MLB.com reports the Padres have signed the outfielder to a two-year, $8.5 million deal that buys out his final two seasons of arbitration eligibility.
Venable didn’t debut until age 25 and didn’t become a regular until age 27, so he’s old for a player with his level of service time. Which is why it wouldn’t have made much sense for the Padres to go past two more seasons with a good but not great player who’s already 30.
Venable is having a career-year, hitting .273 with 20 homers, 15 steals, and an .818 OPS in 129 games and this way the Padres get some cost certainty. He’s making $2.68 million this year.
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.