Yesterday afternoon, Wilson Ramos, a rookie catcher for the Washington Nationals was kidnapped near his home in Venezuela. And while the impact on the Rays is far from the most important thing associated with this case, it could have a huge impact on the Rays off-season plans.
The Nationals have long been considered the team most interested in trading for BJ Upton. And it is no secret that the Rays would love to acquire a big league catcher this off-season. So it is not a stretch to think that Ramos’ name has come up in negotiations between the two sides.
Ramos, 24, hit .267 with 15 home runs and a solid .332 wOBA* in 113 games this past season. As a comparison, John Jaso had a .288 wOBA in 89 games and Kelly Shoppach was .274 in 87 games.
And even if Ramos would not have been the catcher ultimately included in any deal (Derek Norris in double-A is another possibility), this kidnapping could impact the Nationals’ depth at the position and make them less willing to include a catcher at all.
First-and-foremost, let’s hope Ramos is returned safely to his family. But as Rays fans, we can’t ignore how this situation may impact the team.
* wOBA is like OPS but better. average is about .335, but .332 is good for a catcher, especially a young one.