Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, who’s set to hit the open market in a few weeks’ time, will undergo surgery on Friday to repair both the ACL and meniscus in his right knee, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson tweets. Ramos says that he expects roughly a seven-month rehab timeline.
The procedure itself was a foregone conclusion, of course, but these details do add a bit more information to the overall picture. Adding the meniscus work probably isn’t a major issue; if anything, perhaps it’s good news that other, more structurally significant ligaments were not impacted.
In terms of timeline, it seems fairly safe to assume that seven months is on the optimistic side. That would put Ramos back in action by mid-May, assuming all proceeds well, though that probably doesn’t mean he’ll be throwing on the catching gear in a major league park at that point.
While he’ll probably be able to begin some limited baseball activities as the knee gains strength, and will certainly be able to do weight work, Ramos will need to rebuild his conditioning even after he’s cleared. And he’ll also need to work back to game speed in all departments. Ramos himself has suggested that he may need to spend some time in a DH role in order to get back to the field as soon as possible.
All said, seven months sounds like a fairly promising timeline — especially since this is the second time that Ramos has undergone ACL surgery to that knee. It remains largely uncertain what kind of market interest he’ll receive this winter. Contending teams may be hesitant to rely on him at all behind the plate in 2017, while others may be interested in a long-term investment in hopes of finding a nice value. Ramos’s own risk tolerance and personal preferences will obviously play a major role as well. All told, his ultimate free agent contract is as difficult to predict as any in recent memory.