The Milwaukee Brewers will have a slight need at the catching position this winter. With Stephen Vogt‘s and Erik Kratz‘s futures with the Crew up in the air, could they look to the outside for help?
It’s no secret that the Milwaukee Brewers haven’t gotten much offensive production out of the catcher’s position since the trade of Jonathan Lucroy back in July 2016. While Manny Pina has filled in admirably, he’s not as offensively gifted as some catchers.
Wilson Ramos, meanwhile, is one of the better hitting catchers in all of baseball. Now that he’s on the free agent market, perhaps the Brewers could look into signing the 31 year old backstop.
Wilson Ramos in 2018
Ramos was traded from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Philadelphia Phillies during the August trading period. In the 111 games he played in split between those two teams, Ramos posted a .306/.358/.487 slash line with 15 homers, 70 RBIs, an .845 OPS and a 130 OPS+.
Even though he posted these numbers in only 382 at-bats, Ramos has proven in the past he can be a starting catcher, capable of going to the plate 500+ times in a season. While he would likely still split a lot of time with current catcher Manny Pina, Ramos could earn more playing time with his performance at the plate.
What Is Ramos Like Defensively?
He’s nothing like Pina defensively, though. Ramos posted a -5 DRS in 2018 and finished with a 29% caught stealing rate, which is about league average.
Before his trade to Philly, Ramos was actually sitting at a 22% caught stealing rate, which is well below league average.
For comparison’s sake, Manny Pina was at a 41% caught stealing rate in 2018. But Pina is one of the best defensive catchers in baseball. Ramos provides a nice complement as one of the better offensive catchers in the game.
Should The Brewers Sign Ramos?
This really depends on how the Milwaukee Brewers feel about prospect Jacob Nottingham. He’s supposed to have a strong offensive profile and started to show a bit of that in Triple-A in 2018. If they think he’s ready, he can try to take the reins along with Pina for next year.
However, if the Brewers feel Nottingham needs another year, they could sign Ramos. However, Ramos will likely require a multi-year deal, which would end up blocking Nottingham, should they decide to keep him.
If the Brewers feel more strongly about their younger catching prospects like Payton Henry and Mario Feliciano, they could comfortably sign Ramos to a two- or three-year deal to be their catcher through this next window of contention.
The Milwaukee Brewers are at their strongest when the bottom of the lineup is producing, and adding an accomplished veteran bat like Ramos would go a long ways towards providing a consistently productive bottom of the order.
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Wilson Ramos is the top catching option on the market this winter, which means he’ll have plenty of suitors looking for his services.