Wilson Ramos, 29, is having a breakout season at just the right time, with free agency looming this winter unless he and the NL East’s first place Washington Nationals can work out an extension.
According to a report from Jon Heyman this morning, the Nationals have at least discussed the idea of extending the veteran backstop.
Heyman wrote that he’s heard the Nationals, “... initiated talks with soon-to-be free agent catcher... making an initial offer,” though, “indications are that the Nats’ offer was somewhere in the range of $30 million over three years, which apparently isn’t in the ballpark of what Ramos seeks and perhaps not even enough to keep talks going before the offseason.”
Washington Post writer Jorge Castillo confirmed the talks with a source after Heyman’s article came out this morning:
Can confirm that the Nationals offered Wilson Ramos a contract, as @JonHeyman 1st reported. Told it was bit a more than $30 mil over 3 years— Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) September 22, 2016
In his seventh major league campaign, Ramos has put up a .303/.352/.491 line with 25 doubles and 21 HRs in 128 games and 509 plate appearances, over which he’s worth a career-high 3.4 fWAR.
In predicting what some key free agents might get this winter, Heyman wrote last week that Ramos could be in line to get far more than $30M over three years.
3. Wilson Ramos, Nationals C. He’s answered all the doubters with a monster season. An offensive catcher plays in free agency. Early guess: $68M, 4 years.
After the Nats’ initial offer, Heyman wrote this morning, “... [i]t does seem like there’s a lull in discussions following the Nats’ attempt, and that is most likely because the sides are so far apart.”
According to Heyman, Ramos sees veteran catchers Russell Martin and Brian McCann as potential comparisons.
Martin got, “$82 million over five years, McCann $85 million over five.”
Dusty Baker, who’s under contract to manage the Nationals through next season, told reporters last month that he’d like to see the catcher locked up long-term.
“I’m telling you, Ramos has been a godsend,” Baker said.
“He feels good about himself. I can’t imagine not having Ramos, cause he’s figured it out. And it takes some time sometimes. Everybody doesn’t figure it out at the same rate or the same pace.
“I’m hoping that we try to do something with Big Ramos here to retain him soon.”
With free agency just months away, however, Heyman wrote this morning that, “... it’s a long shot that the sides could rekindle things before Ramos becomes a free agent.”