One day after trading away Lucas Duda, the Mets have acquired right-handed reliever AJ Ramos from the Marlins. The Mets will send Merandy Gonzalez and Ricardo Cespedes, ranked ninth and 22nd in the system by MLB Pipeline respectively, to Miami in the deal.
Ramos has one more year of arbitration eligibility, and is currently making $6.6 million. He has significant experience as a closer (92 career saves), which is usually rewarded very highly in arbitration, so Ramos is likely in line for a $10 million salary or so next season. Ramos has always struggled with his control and this year has been no exception, as he has a 4.99 BB/9 in something of a down year. His 3.63 ERA and 3.91 FIP are both the highest marks he’s posted since his rookie season in 2012.
Merandy Gonzalez is definitely the superior prospect the Mets are giving up. In something of a breakout season, he posted an 8.40 K/9 and a 1.68 BB/9 to go with a 1.55 ERA in 69.2 innings for Single-A Columbia. He hasn’t repeated that success since a promotion to St. Lucie however. Ricardo Cespedes, meanwhile, only just cracked the Single-A roster, and likely doesn’t have the bat speed necessary to catch up to elite velocity.
If nothing else, this is a sign that the Mets are committed to building a contender in 2018. With Addison Reed likely to be traded sometime in the next few days, the Mets’ bullpen for 2018 projected to include Jeurys Familia, Jerry Blevins, and a whole lot of question marks. Ramos adds some closer experience and a boatload of strikeouts to the back end of the bullpen, though he’ll come with a hefty price tag and a propensity for walks.