The Indians and Wilson Ramos are in agreement on a minor league contract, Daniel Alvarez Montes of El Extra Base reports (via Twitter). Presumably, the Octagon client will head to Triple-A Columbus once the deal is formally announced.
Ramos, 34, inked a one-year deal worth $2MM with the Tigers over the winter and opened the season as their primary catcher, but his production crumbled after a hot start to the year. The former All-Star homered in six of his first nine games with the Tigers, batting .281/.343/.875 through his first 37 plate appearances with the club. He wasn’t able to sustain anywhere near that level of offensive output, however, and over his next 91 plate appearances the veteran slugger managed only a .170/.198/.216 batting line.
Ramos made two trips to the injured list due to back strains during his short time with the Tigers organization. He was designated for assignment upon being reinstated from his second IL stint, and he was released five days later after clearing waivers.
For several years, Ramos was regarded as one of the better-hitting catchers in the game. His peak performance, from 2016-18, saw him post a combined .298/.343/.483 slash in 1163 plate appearances. That offensive ability helped to balance out a dwindling defensive reputation, but in recent years, the downturn in his glovework has become more glaring as his offense has also begun to deteriorate. Ramos was a roughly league-average hitter in two seasons with the Mets but began to lose playing time to the defensively superior Tomas Nido. Over the past three seasons, Ramos carries just a 16 percent caught-stealing rate, sub-par framing metrics and an overall -16 mark in Defensive Runs Saved.
Ramos’ early surge in 2021 offered a glimpse of life in his bat, and he’s only a couple years removed from a .288/.351/.416 showing as the Mets’ primary catcher. The Indians are currently relying on the defensively strong but offensively challenged combination of Austin Hedges and Rene Rivera behind the plate; Ramos brings something of the opposite skill set to their depth chart, although it’s been a couple years since we’ve seen sustained production from him at the plate.