NEW YORK — Wilson Ramos had a grip on the New York Mets from the second he walked into their winter conferences suite in Las Vegas final week.

“It was his handshake,” new normal supervisor Brodie Van Wagenen recalled Tuesday on the catcher’s introductory information convention. “As a few of chances are you’ll get to know, this man has actually massive, sturdy, sturdy mitts right here for fingers.”

Ramos agreed to a $19 million, two-year contract, the fourth All-Star to be part of the Mets since Van Wagenen was employed in late October. New York acquired second baseman Robinson Cano and nearer Edwin Diaz from Seattle and introduced again former nearer Jeurys Familia as a setup man.

“Internally, we might argue that we are the favorites within the division proper now,” Van Wagenen instructed the team’s SNY community.

Ramos commanded the room, in accordance to Van Wagenen, when he met with the GM, supervisor Mickey Callaway and different New York executives. Ramos checked out dwelling in the course of the Citi Discipline information convention, carrying a sports activities shirt and sneakers as he slipped on a Mets jersey together with his No. 40 — pitcher Jason Vargas agreed to change to No. 44. Ramos maintained he has fully recovered from a tore proper ACL in September 2016, which delayed his first sport of the next season till late June.

“Proper now I really feel 100 %,” he mentioned. “I have been working actually laborious, coaching actually good in Florida. That made me really feel assured to work in each a part of my physique, not solely my knee.”

Ramos has a prolonged harm historical past. His 2012 season ended Might 12 when he tore the medial meniscus in his proper knee whereas working after a handed ball. He went on the disabled listing twice the next yr after straining his left hamstring whereas working out a grounder. He broke the hamate bone in his left hand when hit by a foul tip on opening day in 2014, which sidelined him till Might 7, then missed two weeks that June due to a strained proper hamstring.

He tore his ACL in 2016 when he landed awkwardly whereas catching a throw. He missed another month final summer time after straining his proper hamstring whereas working on a grounder.

“We did a variety of analysis on his medical file,” Van Wagenen mentioned. “We clearly did a bodily examination of him, and we had been in a position to get actually good detailed video of a few of his exercises that he was doing this offseason.”

Ramos’ arrival could lead on New York to giving Travis d’Arnaud a while at first or third base or in left area. New York additionally could carry three catchers — Kevin Plawecki is out of choices.

Ramos’ deal features a $2 million signing bonus payable subsequent July 1, $6.25 million in 2019 and $9.25 million in 2020. The Mets have a $10 million possibility for 2021 with a $1.5 million buyout. Ramos would earn a $500,000 bonus in every season he has 100 begins at catcher.

New York was in search of offense from the best facet of the plate within the absence of Yoenis Cespedes, anticipated to be sidelined for a major a part of the season whereas recovering from surgical procedure on each heels. Van Wagenen known as the 31-year-old Ramos a “man that may maintain us a bit of bit above water on that facet of the plate till Cespedes comes again.”

Ramos hit .306 with 15 dwelling runs and an .845 OPS final season for Tampa Bay and Philadelphia.

Whereas again in his dwelling nation of Venezuela, Ramos was kidnapped in November 2011 and rescued after two days. He sidestepped a query about whether or not he and his household wanted particular safety.

“I really feel comfy residing right here within the States,” he mentioned. “My household’s joyful and I am not placing an excessive amount of consideration on that as a result of. … I need to consider my sport, on my job.”

Van Wagenen mentioned New York nonetheless had the pliability to add payroll. He made an effort to undertaking confidence, studying from ready remarks.

“We’ve not been shy and we have not been bashful,” he mentioned. “And this motion somewhat than our inaction ought to display to the followers that we are saying what we do and we do what we are saying.”

Sport notes
OF Brandon Nimmo attended the information convention. Nimmo, who was in New York for a gathering, mentioned he wasn’t bothered by his title being talked about as commerce bait and did not name the Mets to inquire. “There’s so many eventualities that come up within the commerce talks that it is actually laborious to know what’s truth and what’s fiction,” he mentioned.

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