MARCH 27: The Angels have announced the move.
MARCH 24: The Angels have agreed to a minor league contract with free-agent righty AJ Ramos, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link). He’ll head to the Halos’ alternate training site to begin the 2021 season.
Now 34 years old, Ramos was an All-Star closer with the Marlins back in 2016. He had a terrific six-year run with the Fish, pitching to a combined 2.78 ERA and racking up 92 saves over the course of 327 1/3 innings of work. However, his shoulder began giving him troubles not long after a 2017 trade to the Mets.
By the summer of 2018, Ramos was headed for surgery to repair a torn labrum. He missed all of the 2019 season as a result of that procedure, but he did make it back to the big leagues for three games with the Rockies in 2020, allowing a run on four hits and three walks with one strikeout through 2 2/3 frames.
Ramos has pitched just 22 1/3 innings since the 2017 season concluded, but given his track record there’s little harm in taking a look at whether he can return to form now that he’s more than two full years removed from surgery. Control was always an issue for Ramos, as evidenced by a bloated 12.6 percent walk rate, but he also punched out 27.6 percent of his opponents as a Marlin — at a time when the league-average strikeout percentage was far lower than today’s 23.4 percent. At his best, in 2015, Ramos punched out 31.4 percent of his opponents against a career-low 9.4 percent walk rate.