General manager Matt Klentak and the Phillies are certainly adhering to manager Gabe Kapler’s organizational philosophy — #BeBold.
As the clock ticked toward the final hour before the MLB Trade Deadline, the Phils made a surprise trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, acquiring All-Star veteran catcher Wilson Ramos for a player to be named later and/or cash considerations.
In Ramos, who is currently on the disabled list with a hamstring strain, the Phillies get an immediate upgrade, both offensively and defensively.
In 78 games (315 plate appearances), Ramos is hitting .297/.346/.488 with 14 home runs, 53 RBI and 30 runs scored. His 1.8 fWAR ranks 7th among 28 MLB catchers with at least 200 plate appearances this season. He is 3rd among MLB catchers in wOBA (.358), 3rd in wRC+ (130), tied for 3rd in homers, and tied for the lead in RBI.
The acquisition of Ramos means Jorge Alfaro is heading to a back-up role with the team. In his first full season, Alfaro has had his ups and downs, hitting .254/.305/.398 in 275 PAs, with 7 homers and 23 RBI. Much of his 1.2 fWAR comes on the defensive side, as he ranks 20th out of 28 MLB catchers in wOBA (.299) and wRC+ (85).
Knapp, who has been getting more playing time as of late, is batting .223/.318/.372 in 170 PAs, with 4 homers and 15 RBI. He’ll likely be sent to AAA until the rosters expand in September, however, that won’t happen right away.
Wilson Ramos is still on the disabled list. Won't be healthy enough to play for a couple of weeks, the Rays say. So there's no immediate impact here for the Phillies.— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 31, 2018
How much will Ramos help the offense? His .297 average would be tops on the team, his 14 dingers would be tied for 5th, his on-base percentage would be 4th and his slugging percentage would be 2nd.
Defensively, Ramos grades out as an above average defensive catcher, although he does not have the throwing arm or pitch framing abilities of Alfaro. Ramos is stronger at blocking balls in the dirt and in calling a game, something that could be a big help, both as a mentor to Alfaro, and with the Phils’ young pitching staff.
This is the second major deal Klentak has pulled off in the last few days. On Friday, he acquired Asdrubal Cabrera from the Mets for prospect Franklin Kilome. The Phillies are rumored to still be interested in a left-handed reliever — San Francisco’s Will Smith and Texas’ Jake Diekman have been mentioned as possibilities.
In short, the Phils have purchased an All-Star catcher who they hope will make the bottom of their lineup and their defense behind the dish better for the stretch run.