Wilson Ramos put it all together at the plate in 2016, as his strikeout rate returned to his pre-2015 level while his BABIP and ISO both soared, resulting in career highs in just about every hitting category (he even tied his career high in steals). Disaster struck just a week before the end of the regular season, though, when he blew out his knee -- the second time he has endured such an injury, which is extremely concerning, given his position. The injury cost the Nationals one of their biggest bats for the playoffs and also cost him a qualifying offer or a big contract from Washington. Instead, Ramos will head to Tampa on a two-year prove-it deal, getting a chance to DH while he fully recovers from surgery and still makes a contribution. The optimistic timetable puts him into regular-season action in early May, but seasoned owners should only pay for four months of production, on the high end.
Ramos (knee) is still aiming to return to the lineup as a designated hitter during sometime in May, although he won't rush his rehab to meet this goal, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Reports earlier in the week suggested that Ramos wouldn't be ready to play at all until July, but the All Star backstop appears to be more optimistic than others in the organization. His timetable will likely become clearer as he progresses further in his rehab process, however, so only time will tell which timetable is more reasonable.
Ramos (knee) will likely be unable to play until July and unable to catch until August, Bill Chastain of MLB.com reports. In December, Ramos said he was a month ahead of schedule and planned to begin working as a designated hitter by May. Evidently, his forecast was a bit off. The 22-year-old signed a two-year deal with Tampa Bay after the best season of his career, but it appears he'll be unable to contribute in the first-half of 2017. Curt Casali and Luke Maile will compete for catching duties out of spring training as Ramos works his way back from ACL surgery.
Ramos (knee) says he is a month ahead of his ACL rehab and plans to beginning working as a designated hitter by early May, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Declarations of improved health from a player with an injury history as extensive as Ramos' should be taken with a grain of salt, but it's at least encouraging to think he might only a miss a little more than a month at the plate. Per Topkin, the Rays' plan was previously a return in June or July, so this would be a major change. It remains hazy when Ramos would start catching again, but if he's able to reproduce his hitting from last season, he should still carry plenty of value as a DH to the Rays and even more to fantasy owners.
Ramos (knee) officially signed a two-year, $12.5 million dollar deal with the Rays, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The deal also includes another $5.75 million in incentives, which Ramos won't be able to starting working toward until June at the earliest, due to right knee surgery to repair a torn ACL and two meniscus tears. When healthy, Ramos is expected to provide a sizable boost to a Rays squad that often found runs hard to come by in 2016, given that he's coming off the best all-around season of his career. Before his Sept. 26 injury, the 29-year-old backstop slashed .307/.354/.496 with 25 doubles, 22 homers and 80 RBI over 131 games for the Nationals.
Ramos (knee) agreed to a two-year deal with the Rays on Tuesday, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. Ramos, who tore his ACL and meniscus in October, still has to pass a physical, but the 29-year-old looks set to join the Rays after putting together a career-best season in 2016. Over 133 games, Ramos posted a .307 batting average to go with a stellar .850 OPS, 80 RBI, and 22 home runs. However, because he's rehabbing his knee ailments, Ramos may be unavailable to play until June, Bob Nightengale of the USA Today reports.