The New York Mets signing free agent catcher Wilson Ramos has both positive and negative ramifications for the Boston Red Sox.
We tend to keep a sharp eye on what our division rivals in the Bronx are up to but it’s not often that Boston Red Sox fans concern ourselves with the actions of the other team in New York. However, the Mets signing of free agent catcher Wilson Ramos merits our attention.
Wilson coming off the market has no direct impact on the Red Sox, as the catcher position isn’t exactly on the list of the club’s priorities this winter. The fallout of this deal squashes a couple of rumors that have potential ramifications in Boston though.
The Mets were among the teams showing interest in the trio of Red Sox catchers, as reported by MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo a week ago.
With Ramos on board, it’s safe to say the Mets are no longer looking to trade for a catcher. That leaves the Red Sox with a surplus at the position.
Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez are both more than capable defensive backstops with light-hitting bats that make them a liability in the lineup. Blake Swihart is a seldom-used third stringer with a higher ceiling offensively but without the polished skills behind the plate. He has the versatility to be used at other positions but the Red Sox rarely took advantage of it. Swihart is a bit of a luxury as a utility player who can catch in a pinch but he’s essentially a wasted roster spot when the other two catchers are healthy given that the Red Sox prioritize defense at the catcher position.
They may claim to be content to enter the season with all three catchers but the preference would be to trade one of them by spring training if they can get anything of value. The chances of that happening have dipped a bit with one of the more catcher-needy suitors finding a superior option on the free agent market.
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It’s not all bad news for Boston though. The Ramos signing also takes the wind out of the sails of another potential trade we certainly did not want to see happen. Prior to signing Ramos, the Mets were in discussions with the Miami Marlins for All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto. One theory floating around the rumor mill was a three-way trade involving the New York Yankees that would have sent Noah Syndergaard to the Bronx.
A number of obstacles made this convoluted trade unlikely but the idea of Syndergaard wearing pinstripes still had Red Sox fans worried. The Yankees have a deep farm system with enough assets to entice the Marlins into giving up Realmuto. The Mets only seem interested in dealing Syndergaard if they receive at least one major league player in return and the Yankees aren’t likely to trade away anyone from their active roster, at least not anyone deemed valuable enough to be worthy of Thor. That makes it difficult to find a match between the Yankees and Mets if the Marlins aren’t involved.
The Ramos signing hinders Boston’s chances to unload one of their surplus catchers but if the tradeoff is that the Yankees won’t be getting an All-Star caliber starting pitcher then the fallout has far more benefits than drawbacks.