The Phillies grabbed themselves another offensive piece before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline.
Philadelphia announced that they acquired catcher Wilson Ramos and cash considerations from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports initially reported the trade talks between the two teams.
In a corresponding move, relief pitcher Zac Curtis was designated for assignment by the Phillies, opening up a spot on the 40-man roster for Ramos.
Ramos will provide the Phillies’ lineup with an offensive spark, while also being a defensive force behind the plate. The 30-year-old catcher is having a career year, which is why he was such a hot commodity on the trade market.
This season, Ramos is slashing .297/.346/.488 with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs in 315 plate appearances. On the defensive side of things, he has only allowed six passed balls and 23 wild pitches, while averaging of caught stealing percentage of 22. Currently, the American League average for caught stealing percentage is 28.
How does Ramos compare to the other Phillies catchers?
Just like with the acquisition of Asdrubal Cabrera, Ramos will be an immediate veteran upgrade for the Phillies. While catchers Jorge Alfaro and Andrew Knapp have played well in spurts this season, both players still have holes in their game.
Offensively speaking, Alfaro is slashing .254/.305/.398 with seven home runs and 23 RBIs in 275 plate appearances. Those numbers are not particularly bad, but he does have 104 strikeouts and only 13 walks with about two months to go in the season.
Knapp, however, is not producing that much better at the plate. The 25-year-old backup catcher is slashing .223/.318/.372 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 170 plate appearances. He also has 56 strikeouts and 19 walks, which are a slight improvement, when you compare those stats to Alfaro’s.
But in comparison to Ramos, the ninth-year veteran only has 61 strikeouts and 22 walks.
Furthermore, when it comes to the defensive aspect of catching, the 25-year-old Alfaro still has some work to do. This season, he has allowed eight passed balls and 37 wild pitches.
However, Alfaro does a great job of throwing out base runners, showing off his cannon of an arm. The young catcher has a caught stealing percentage of 31, which supersedes the National League average of 29.
As the Phillies go through the last two months of the season, it should be interesting to see how manager Gabe Kapler handles the three catchers. Does Andrew Knapp completely fall out of the rotation? How will he manage the time between Ramos and Alfaro?
For the moment, Kapler does not have to worry about this as Ramos is currently on the 10-day disabled list with a hamstring injury. The Phillies made a necessary move for the stretch run, we will see it is enough to get them back to the postseason.