Detroit Tigers turn to Wilson Ramos behind the plate

It didn’t take long after Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch discussed the organization’s need to bring in a starting catcher for 2021 before the solution to that problem was announced.

According to Jose F. Rivera of Wow Deportes, the Detroit Tigers have signed free agent catcher Wilson Ramos to a one year deal worth $2 million. The deal has been confirmed by Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Detroit Tigers add veteran catcher Wilson Ramos to mix

Ramos, 33, has spent the last two seasons with the New York Mets, hitting .239 with a .684 OPS and five home runs in 45 games. He struck out 20 percent of the time for the first time since 2015 and recorded a wRC+ of 89, his lowest mark also since the 2015 season.

Typically a well-above-average offensive catcher, Ramos got off to a slow start in 2020, hitting just .211 with one home run and a 63 wRC+ through the first 20 games of the season. He was able to finish strong over his final 25 games, hitting .256 with four home runs, a 116 wRC+, and a .795 OPS, which was 221 points higher than his .574 OPS through the first half of the season.

As recently as 2019, Ramos slashed .288/.351/.416 with 14 home runs and 19 doubles in 141 games for the Mets. Since 2016, he’s been worth 7.7 Wins Above Replacement, which puts him 12th among all catchers in baseball over that span.

Wilson Ramos isn’t the defensive-minded backstop that would be a huge asset for the Detroit Tigers with such a young and promising starting rotation in place, but he is a veteran who will push Jake Rogers once spring training gets underway.

Rogers, currently the Tigers’ 12th-ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline, struggled both at the plate and behind the dish in his MLB debut last season. But his pedigree as a defensive-minded catcher and promise coming out of Tulane make him an intriguing option to eventually assume the starting role.

The only other catcher on the Tigers 40-man roster is 28-year-old Grayson Greiner. Greiner is a career .194 hitter with 122 strikeouts in 106 major league games.

Signing Wilson Ramos won’t make the Detroit Tigers contenders, but he does improve a weakness on the big league roster and should inject a bit of offense into a lineup in need of guys who can get on base.