The Mets continued their aggressive offseason Tuesday by introducing catcher Wilson Ramos during a press conference at Citi Field.Ramos, 31, signed a two-year deal with a club option for a third year. The contract is for $19 million, per multiple reports. After the Mets were heavily linked to fellow free-agent
The Mets continued their aggressive offseason Tuesday by introducing catcher Wilson Ramos during a press conference at Citi Field.
Ramos, 31, signed a two-year deal with a club option for a third year. The contract is for $19 million, per multiple reports. After the Mets were heavily linked to fellow free-agent catcher Yasmani Grandal and involved in trade discussions for Marlins backstop J.T. Realmuto, New York shifted gears and went with one of the better offensive catchers of the decade in Ramos.
"Wilson was the perfect fit for us," said Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen. "When we had a chance to sit down with him, this guy commanded the room. His poise and his confidence were extremely compelling to us as we sat across from him, and by the end of the week it was clear that we needed to make him a priority for us.
"We want to bank on people," Van Wagenen added. "Getting to know our players and having the ability to talk to them directly matters to us as we try to build the right characters in the clubhouse. Wilson clearly fit all of the criteria in what we look for in a player -- not only in his talent, but also as a person."
Ramos earned his second All-Star Game selection last season and finished the campaign with a .306 average to go with 15 homers and an .845 OPS in 111 games for the Rays and Phillies. He is one of three catchers, along with the Giants' Buster Posey and free agent Jonathan Lucroy, to post at least two seasons with 400 plate appearances and a 120 OPS+ or higher since the start of 2014.
Ramos met with teams in-person during last week's Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, and came away from his face-to-face sit down with Mets executives knowing that New York was the destination where he wanted to land.
"I felt really comfortable in the room with them," said Ramos. "They gave me confidence and I felt that, and that was one of the reasons I chose to be with this team."
The biggest question surrounding Ramos is his durability, not his performance. The Venezuelan-born catcher has spent significant time on the disabled list in recent seasons, including issues with a torn ACL, hamstring soreness and a broken hand, ultimately causing him to average just 100 games per season since 2013. When questioned about that injury history Tuesday, Ramos expressed confidence that he can turn that luck around in Queens.
"Right now I feel really happy because I'm working really hard," Ramos said. "It's a good challenge for me to be here, and I'm working hard this offseason to be healthy for a full season."
Ramos is the fourth All-Star player that Van Wagenen has acquired this offseason, following his blockbuster trade for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz and his signing of free-agent reliever Jeurys Familia.
"This action, rather than our inaction, should demonstrate to the fans that we say what we do and we do what we say," he said. "Today we get to say that Wilson Ramos is the newest member of the New York Mets."
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.