The Tampa Bay Rays will have a new catcher in their lineup … eventually.
The Rays formally announced the signing of Wilson Ramos, the former catcher of the Washington Nationals. The Rays signed him as a free agent for a two-year contract worth $12.5 million. Ramos can earn another $5.75 million through incentives.
It may take some time for Tampa Bay to see what it has in Ramos. Ramos suffered a ACL in his right knee near the end of last season. It could be June, maybe as long as the all-star game before Ramos returns. He will probably come back first as a DH.
“The pace of my rehab, at the very least, I expect to be available for the team, getting at-bats, DHing, really from the beginning of May,” Ramos said Monday on a conference call — that includes another $5.75 million in incentives — official. “The people doing my therapy (in South Florida) have been really impressed.”
“A healthy Wilson Ramos is one of the best all-around catchers in baseball,” said Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations Chaim Bloom. “Few players at the position can impact all facets of the game like he can. We’re excited for what Wilson will contribute to both our offense and our pitching staff, and we look forward to getting him back on the field soon.”
Last year, Ramos played in 131 games and hit .307 with 22 homers for the Nationals.
To make room for Ramos on the roster, the team designed former No. 1 draft pick Justin O’Connor for assignment. O’Connor had two back surgeries a year ago.