Wilson Ramos – Philadelphia Phillies
Despite being a year-and-a-half older than Grandal, Wilson Ramos may be a less-risky alternative because his kryptonite in injuries, which can be manageable. The injury history likely limits a potential Ramos contract to three years max, ironically making him a more attractive option to teams wary of committing to a catcher on the wrong side of thirty.
That said, the flaws are glaring. Injuries have plagued Ramos ever since tearing his ACL with the Nats in 2016. During his six weeks in Philadelphia alone, Ramos has appeared on the injury report for his legs, wrist, hand, groin, and hamstring. Not that we’re counting, but that’s most of the body parts he uses to play baseball.
Still, the rigors of the position require most teams to carry at least two, and upwards of three trustworthy catchers on the 40-man roster. Think of catchers in baseball like quarterbacks in the NFL. A backup must be ready in case of injury, but the guys in the room work collectively to handle a staff and strategize for opposing hitters. Even when he’s hobbled, you want Ramos in that room.
The bottom line is that Ramos is a fan favorite who hits like a corner outfielder and has an established chemistry with Washington’s two most important pitchers, Stephen Strasburg, and Max Scherzer. Further, while toughness is one of those folklore-ish baseball qualities, Ramos has admirably fought through injuries and survived a kidnapping, so it’s safe to say he’s tough.
Ramos is brittle and he runs poorly, but if the price is right, Nats fans should be happy to welcome the Buffalo back into the herd.