With just under an hour to go before today’s 4 p.m. Major League Baseball trade deadline, Matt Klentak made what appears to be a significant upgrade to the Phillies’ currently struggling lineup. The team has reportedly struck a deal with the Rays to acquire catcher Wilson Ramos.
Ramos, who was set to serve as the American League’s starting catcher in this season’s All-Star Game before injuring his left hamstring earlier this month, is expected to return to action in the coming days and should be available by mid to late August. The 30-year-old Ramos is slashing .297/.346/.488 this season. He’s second among all Major League catchers in batting average and RBI, and his 14 homers are tied for second-most at the position. He figures to provide some additional thump to a lineup that could desperate use some at a relatively low-cost:
Phillies will send player to be named later or cash to Tampa bay for Ramos
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) July 31, 2018
The player to be named later will reportedly not be one of the organization’s Top 30 prospects:
I am told the Phillies will not be giving up a member of their Top 30 prospects list. https://t.co/GI3WM7WM5n
— Jonathan Mayo (@JonathanMayo) July 31, 2018
To make room on the Phillies’ 40-man roster, relief pitcher Zac Curtis has been designated for assignment.
Ramos should play a decent amount. In addition to bringing a solid offensive presence to the club, Ramos also figures to provide a much-needed defensive upgrade at a position the Phillies have struggled with all season. Phillies catchers this season lead the National League in passed balls and have also collaborated on the second-most wild pitches. What the move means for the futures of Jorge Alfaro and Andrew Knapp upon his return remains uncertain.
I know Knapp, whose defense leaves much to be desired, has made for an easy target at times this season, but he has posted a .918 OPS over his last 68 plate appearances dating back to June 20. That’s nothing to sneeze at and certainly worth considering as the Phillies settle on composition of what has become a rapid and dramatic bench transformation. My guess is that when Ramos returns, Knapp will head to Lehigh Valley for a week or two before being recalled when rosters expand in September. Stay tuned.