Jon Heyman: Nats targeting Ramos, rotation help

The Nats are targeting their former catcher Wilson Ramos for acquisition, and Tampa Bay is said to be “closely watching” the Nats’ system as the teams continue to talk about a potential match.

The Nats, who are getting almost nothing from the catching position — their catchers’ OPS is .559, easily the worst in the NL — and there’s no sign they’ve made any progress in talks for Marlins star J.T. Realmuto, the top catcher available.

The Rays are a likely seller despite overachieving, and Ramos — with 12 home runs, a .289 batting average and .802 OPS — is a nice chip, even with a healthy $8.5-million salary.



The Brewers and Red Sox could be other teams looking to shore up the catching position, especially with Boston losing Christian Vazquez for weeks with a broken pinkie Saturday. But it isn’t clear if those teams are in on Ramos (or any other catcher) at this point.

The Nats’ offense looks stronger, but their team has underachieved to this point and they are scouring the market for potential help.

Washington is also looking for rotation help, which is probably their main area of interest. Stephen Strasburg just threw a simulated game, but with him out the Nats rotation has trailed those of division leaders Atlanta and Philadelphia.

Tampa has a fine rotation, but no one expects them to trade star Blake Snell, and Chris Archer's value is down at the moment. Tampa also has  Nate Eovaldi, whom it would make available.

Ramos would be a nice addition for the Nats. He was in position for a monster payday as a Nats player about to be a free agent following an All-Star 2016 season when he suffered a knee injury that limited his market, and eventually his deal; he signed a multi-year contract with Tampa Bay.

Matt Wieters just began a rehab assignment Saturday as he seeks to return from a hamstring injury. Veteran backup Pedro Severino is getting the bulk of the at-bats in the meantime while hitting just .171.



The Nats have checked in with the Marlins on the young star Realmuto. But so far the Marlins have understandably asked for a significant haul to part with him. The Nats' top outfield prospect Victor Robles has been a target in those talks.  

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