Phillies acquire Wilson Ramos to upgrade their catching staff

The Tampa Bay Rays just keep making trades. According to Yahoo Sports’ own Jeff Passan, they’ve  traded catcher Wilson Ramos to the Philadelphia Phillies for a player to be named later or cash.

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Ramos, 30, is reaching the end of a two-year contract with the Rays, where he signed after spending his early career with the Washington Nationals. He’s batting .297/.346/.488 for the Rays, but he hasn’t played since just before the All-Star break, when he went down with a left hamstring strain.

The Phillies have just a half game lead in the National League East and they’re in desperate need of help both offensively and defensively. One of the team’s biggest weaknesses is at catcher. Their primary catcher is 25-year-old rookie Jorge Alfaro, who has a cannon for an arm but has struggled significantly with defense. He has a .254 batting average, but his on-base percentage is just .305 and he has 104 strikeouts in 275 plate appearances. Andrew Knapp is their back-up catcher, and he has some of the same problems Alfaro does: youth, inexperience, defense, and hitting.

Rays catcher Wilson Ramos has been traded to the Phillies. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
Rays catcher Wilson Ramos has been traded to the Phillies. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

A player like Wilson Ramos could be the perfect addition for the Phillies. He’ll be able to work with Alfaro on defense and game calling (and work with Knapp once rosters expand in September), provide more dependability behind the plate, help handle a mostly young rotation and an inconsistent bullpen, and give the team a sorely needed bat in the lineup.

Well, Ramos will be able to do those things once he comes off the disabled list. He was scheduled to start a rehab assignment on Monday, but a workout on Saturday convinced Rays general manager Kevin Cash that Ramos wasn’t ready yet. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported that Ramos would “need at least a couple more days” before he heads out on a rehab assignment. Beyond that, there didn’t appear to be a set timeline for Ramos’ return. The Phillies will presumably make their own determination about his readiness once he arrives.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter at @lizroscher.

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