Minnesota Twins Trade Target Profile: AJ Ramos, RHP, Miami Marlins
By Nate Palmer
With the team in contention, could the Minnesota Twins make a trade for Miami Marlins closer AJ Ramos? What would it cost?
The Minnesota Twins continue to stay in contention as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches. The team is seeing many of its young, core players come into their own a little earlier than expected. The front office will be evaluating at what moment it will be essential for the team to make moves to bolster the roster for any potential postseason run.
We at Puckett’s Pond have been looking at a series of trade candidates as the July 31st deadline approaches. We have already looked at starting pitchers Marcus Stroman and Julio Teheran. Today we are going to highlight a bullpen arm.
AJ Ramos, RHP, Miami Marlins
The 30-year-old AJ Ramos has spent the whole of his career with the Marlins. He was drafted in the 21st round of the 2009 amateur draft out of Texas Tech University. Ramos made his major league debut on September 4, 2012. He finished that season pitching 9.1 innings with a rate of 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings.
In 2015, Ramos took over the Marlins closer role from a struggling Steve Cishek. That season he went on to pitch 70.1 innings while recording 32 saves with a 2.30 ERA. Last season was Ramos’ career year to date. Continuing as the Marlins 2016 closer, he went on to save 40 games with a 2.81 ERA. Earning Ramos a spot on the 2016 All-Star Team.
This season Ramos’ numbers don’t look nearly as good as last year’s. His ERA is up to 4.08 and he is allowing one home run per nine innings. One encouraging sign is that his WHIP of 1.302 is actually lower than his All-Star season which was at 1.359.
Why the Twins would be interested
All offseason fans were curious to where the help for the bullpen was going to come from. The team signed veterans Matt Belisle and Craig Breslow. There was also hope that guys like J.T. Chargois and Nick Burdi would be able to bolster the pen as minor league call ups. Belisle and Breslow have been underwhelming for the most part, and both Chargois and Burdi have been or are hurt.
Ramos would be able to slot into the Twins’ bullpen as a very good 8th inning setup guy. Becoming a compliment to surprise left-hander Taylor Rogers. In the case, that Brandon Kintzler was unavailable or injured Ramos could easily slot into the closer role. Some may even campaign for Ramos to take the closer role with the Twins right away, but considering Kintzler’s success this season it seems unlikely he would be moved from the role.
The Marlin’s closer is also signed through the 2018 season. Ramos’ contract fits the type the front office has reportedly wanted to trade for. Having Ramos for 2018 could also be appealing since Kintzler is only signed through the end of this season.
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A factor that would bring the cost of Ramos down is that he has been a bit inconsistent. League wide, arms are going at a premium rate so that could buoy Ramos’ cost higher than his actual worth.
Even though the cost for pitching is through the roof currently, I wouldn’t imagine it would take a top line prospect to net Ramos. That is unless the Twins would get caught in a bidding war.
In pure speculation, maybe a conversation could be started with a package focusing on a guy like Mitch Garver or Engelb Vielma. And then add pieces around him. For instance in a Garver deal maybe the Marlins would be interested in a guy like Jermaine Palacios.
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How do you think AJ Ramos may fit with the Twins? Where do you think the price might be to acquire him? Please feel free to comment and keep checking back for more profiles as the deadline approaches.