The Nationals lowballed Wilson Ramos in their initial contract offer

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Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is having an outstanding season. He’s hitting .303/.352/.491 with 21 homers and has caught 125 games while appearing in 128 overall. He’s a big, big reason the Nationals are running away with the NL East and, with free agency looming, he’s about to make a whole heck of a lot of money.

Certainly more money than the Nationals offered him, according to Jon Heyman:

The Washington Nationals initiated talks with soon-to-be free agent catcher Wilson Ramos, making an initial offer. However, indications are that the Nats’ offer was somewhere in the range of $30 million over three years, which apparently isn’t in the ballpark of what Ramos seeks and perhaps not even enough to keep talks going before the offseason.

I am confident that someone is going to give a lot of money to Ramos after his career year. I am fairly certain, however, that the end of that contract is not gonna be fantastic for whoever gives it to him. He’s had a heck of a season and a catcher who can truly hit is a valuable commodity in Major League Baseball, but he turns 30 next year and he’s hitting .321 on balls in play this year, which is not sustainable. That the Nats are only offering three years and $30 million suggests that they agree with the risks.

But the market is the market and the targets Ramos and his agent are going to be shooting for are Russell Martin‘s five year-$82 million deal and Brian McCann‘s five year $85 million pact. Maybe that’s shooting too high, but that’s where he’ll shoot, certainly in terms of years. And given the thin free agent market this winter, possibly on dollars as well.

In short: the Nats lowballed Martin and, in all likelihood, borked their chance to sign him before he hits the open market.