2:48pm: The Mets will also buy out their options on infielder Todd Frazier and catcher Robinson Chirinos, reports Tim Healey of Newsday. As with Ramos, neither decision is surprising. Both Frazier and Chirinos were acquired from the Rangers at the trade deadline, albeit in separate transactions.
Frazier, 35 in February, batted .236/.302/.382 in 172 trips to the plate between Arlington and Queens in 2020. His one-year, $5MM deal included a $3.5MM salary in 2020 and a $1.5MM buyout on a $5.75MM option for the 2021 season. The Mets had a net $4.25MM decision on the slugger, but he’ll head out into the open market once again.
Chirinos, 36, had a $1MM buyout on a $6.5MM option for the upcoming 2021 campaign. Given this season’s dismal .162/.232/.243 performance between the two clubs (82 plate appearances), there was no way the Mets were going to pick him up at that salary.
1:40pm: The Mets are planning to decline their $10MM club option on veteran catcher Wilson Ramos, tweets Mike Puma of the New York Post. It’s anything but a surprise given Ramos’ lackluster tenure in Queens. He’ll be paid a $1.5MM buyout and head back to the open market in search of a new club.
Ramos, 33, was known to be an offense-first catcher when he signed with the Mets prior to the 2019 season, but his production never reached the levels the Mets likely expected of him. His 2019 campaign was solid, particularly for a catcher (105 wRC+), but Ramos’ two years as a Met resulted in a rather pedestrian .276/.339/.410 batting line through 679 trips to the plate.
Were Ramos a strong defensive backstop, that production would make him an excellent all-around catcher, but that hasn’t been the case for some time now. He registered bottom-of-the-scale framing metrics in his two years in Queens, and his -12 Defensive Runs Saved and 15.9 percent caught-stealing rate underscore the struggles he endured. That led to some drama with Noah Syndergaard, who reportedly requested that Tomas Nido catch his starts because of Ramos’ inadequacies as a receiver. The 122 stolen bases allowed by Ramos since 2019 are far and away the most in Major League Baseball; Yasmani Grandal’s 80 are the next-highest, though he’s also logged a solid 29.2 percent caught-stealing rate in that time.
The defensive questions surrounding Ramos will complicate his market this winter, although when he’s at his best at the plate, he’s proven to be one of the more productive bats the game has to offer at the position. From 2016-19, Ramos made two All-Star teams and logged a combined .294/.346/.463 slash with 62 home runs and 72 doubles in 1687 plate appearances.