The Mets made a move Friday that seems to set up the present and future in one deal. New York acquired closer A.J. Ramos from the Marlins for righthander Merandy Gonzalez and outfielder Ricardo Cespedes.
The trade seemingly clears the Mets to trade current closer Addison Reed, who is a free agent after 2017. Ramos, 30, meanwhile is under team control through 2018. For the Marlins, Gonzalez—the Mets’ No. 9 prospect at midseason—and Cespedes help prop up a fallow farm system. Gonzalez would certainly fit into Miami’s top 10 right away.
Gonzalez and Cespedes are both eligible for the Rule 5 draft this winter unless they were placed on the 4o-man roster, giving more context to why the Mets would be willing to trade two Top 30 prospects now.
Merandy Gonzalez, rhp
Gonzalez’s command took a step forward this season, allowing him to dominate at low Class A and move up to St. Lucie, where he has continued to shine. Gonzalez has always had premium stuff, including a fastball with late life that touches 97 mph and a curveball that projects above-average. He also throws a slider, and a still-developing changeup. Gonzalez is not overly physical at just 6 feet, but has a strong lower body and solid delivery.
|St. Lucie (FSL)||4||2||2.23||6||6||0||0||36||33||12||9||1||8||24|
|Ricardo Cespedes, of
Cespedes, no relation to Yoenis, was one of the youngest players in the 2013 international class when he signed for $725,000. Cespedes, who had the same trainer as top Mets prospect Amed Rosario, has interesting-but-raw tools, with at least average speed and potential above-average defense in center field. His hit tool is a question mark for some scouts, although he has an easy swing that sprays the ball to all fields. He won’t hit for much power, but could be a top-of-the-order hitter if he improves his approach. Some scouts see him as a fourth-outfielder type and as a hitter who’s yet to get established in full season ball, he’s a long ways away.
A.J. Ramos, rhp
Ramos took over as Marlins closer in 2015 and has accumulated 92 saves since. An All-Star in 2016, Ramos was much better at Marlins Park (2.05) than on the road this season (5.60), although he’s going to another spacious home park in Citi Field. Ramos has struggled with command the past two seasons and has walked 5.0 batters per nine in 2017. After allowing just one homer in 2016 in 64 innings, he has allowed four in 39.2 this season.