The NY Mets surprised many when they acquired reliever A.J. Ramos from Miami a few days before the July 31st trading deadline. Since the team was not contending, most expected them to be sellers, not buyers at the deadline. But general manager Sandy Alderson knew he would be moving Addison Reed and wanted a replacement ready before pulling the trigger on the that trade with Boston. Additionally, Ramos is under control for next season, unlike Reed who is a free agent this winter.
To get Ramos the Mets gave up pitcher Merandy Gonzalez and outfielder Ricardo Cespedes, both in the lower rungs of the minor leagues. Gonzalez was rated the Mets’ No. 9 prospect by MLB.com, while Cespedes was No. 22. For the Marlins this season, Ramos was 2-4 with 20 saves in 39.2 innings, a 3.63 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. He’ll close for the Mets until Jeurys Familia returns from the disabled list, expected to be in late August.
A.J. Ramos Scouting Report
The 30-year-old Ramos relies primarily on his Slider (81mph) and Fourseam Fastball (93mph), also mixing in a Change (86mph). Having three pitches that he can use makes it more difficult for batters who are used to most relievers relying on just two dominant pitches. You can see the percentage of times that he has thrown each type of pitch the last two seasons in the chart below.
An All-Star last year, A.J. Ramos appeared in 67 games, had a 1-4 record, 2.81 era and earned 40 saves blowing only 3 save opportunities. In 64 innings he totaled 73 strikeouts, but also allowed 35 walks. His 1.3 WHIP was troublesome, but the 0.14 HR per 9 innings more reassuring. He did tail off somewhat in the second half last season. In the 36 innings pitched in the first half Ramos had a 2.25 ERA, 27 saves and a 1.19 WHIP. In the 28 innings pitched in the second half Ramos had a 3.54 ERA, 13 saves and a 1.57 WHIP. He has a high career BB/9 rate of 4.8. You can see his year by year BB/9 rate in the chart below.
2018 Mets Bullpen
A.J. Ramos is arbitration eligible this winter and a rough estimate for his 2018 salary is $9 million. It is his final year of control, meaning that it essentially is a one-year deal. Ramos provides the NY Mets with an experienced right-handed setup man and past closer. His high walk rate can produce occasional edge-of-your seat moments. But he doesn’t give up many home runs and is effective against both right-handed and left-handed batters. Combined with Jerry Blevins and Jeurys Familia, the Mets have their late inning men penciled in for the 2018 season.
You can read about the deals that were made in the Mets trade deadline review.
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