PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Once teammates in Miami, Mets reliever AJ Ramos and Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton are now both New Yorkers. Why not take advantage? The friends began searching for apartments together shortly after the Marlins traded Stanton to the Yankees in December. And while they haven't found a suitable space quite yet, they're continuing to look.
"Definitely for the Subway Series, I'm going to be setting some traps for him," Ramos said Monday at Mets camp. "I may mess up his sleep a little bit, stuff like that."
While it may seem unnatural for a Yankee and a Met to room together, Ramos doesn't see it as such. The two likely won't see each other much, as the Yankees and Mets are rarely home at the same time during the season.
"The only time it will be different is when we're playing against each other," Ramos said. "Other than that, that's just Giancarlo and I'm AJ."
Stanton, 28, and Ramos, 31, first crossed paths when the latter joined the Marlins' organization in 2009. For most of the next decade, the two shared clubhouses, becoming friends along the way. When the Marlins traded Ramos to the Mets last July, he talked often about his first opportunity to face Stanton -- a chance that ended anticlimactically, when Ramos walked his friend to load the bases after blowing a save earlier in the inning.
That meeting was notable more for Ramos' struggles than for Stanton's free pass. After joining the Mets, Ramos posted a 4.74 ERA in 21 games, serving as the Mets' full-time closer while Jeurys Familia rehabbed from surgery. This year, new Mets manager Mickey Callaway has talked about splitting closing duties amongst Familia, Ramos, Anthony Swarzak and Jerry Blevins, though the bulk of the role may still ultimately go to Familia.
"It's not my job to define the roles," Ramos said. "What my job is, whenever my name is called, is to go out there and do some work."
Stanton likewise enters this season with outsized expectations after winning the 2017 National League MVP Award, leading the Majors with 59 home runs, 132 RBIs and a .631 slugging percentage. One of the first veteran pieces the Marlins sold in their ongoing attempt to shed salary and rebuild their farm system, Stanton will ply his trade at Yankee Stadium -- where even the right-handed slugger figures to take advantage of the short porch in right field.
"He can get jammed and hit a ball out there," Ramos said. "That park is very small. That's a plus for him. He's going from Miami, where you have to square one up to get one out, to New York where you can basically burp a ball out. So I think he's going to do pretty good over there."
If the two meet on the field again, it will occur during the Subway Series June 8-10 at Citi Field or July 20-22 at Yankee Stadium. They can only hope life in a not-so-cramped Manhattan apartment won't change their relationship along the way. Who pays for Netflix? Who pays for milk? Ramos is making $9.2 million this season on an unguaranteed arbitration contract -- a fine salary, particularly for a reliever. But it pales in comparison to Stanton 's record-breaking $325 million deal, which includes a $25 million paycheck in 2018.
"Oh, he buys all [the groceries], for sure," Ramos said, laughing. "He's going to pay for all the rent."