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Mets agree to deal with Wilson Ramos, shrinking trade market for J.T. Realmuto

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Marlins and Mets were engaged in Realmuto talks throughout the Winter Meetings, but New York ultimately found the asking price to be too high for them.

Boston Red Sox v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

All of that time and creativity spent on “J.T. Realmuto to the Mets” trade scenarios proved to be a waste. Pending a physical, free agent catcher Wilson Ramos will sign with New York, as first reported by VDM Radio’s Daniel Álvarez Montes. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Spots tweets that it’s a two-year deal. James Wagner of The New York Times has full financial details:

Fully recovered from a torn ACL, Ramos raked in 2018. His .306/.358/.487 slash line and 131 wRC+ were extremely comparable to Realmuto’s.

However, a couple stints on the disabled list and poorer defensive work dragged down his overall value. FanGraphs pegged Ramos at 2.4 Wins Above Replacement, approximately half of Realmuto’s 4.8 fWAR. Also consider that the thicc Venezuelan is three-and-a-half years older than the Marlins All-Star, and his salaries in 2019 and 2020 will almost certainly be higher. Realmuto is projected to take home $6.1 million next season with another year of arbitration eligibility to come after that.

Multiple reports from Las Vegas this past week had the Marlins being fixated on the Mets’ controllable major league position players. Specifically, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo and Amed Rosario were potential centerpieces.

It looked like an awkward fit from the beginning, though. None of those players have quite as much long-term control as an elite prospect, and the Mets don’t have any of those; their No. 1 minor leaguer, shortstop Andres Gimenez, fails to crack the Top 50 on most national publications.

SNY’s Andy Martino confirms that the Marlins “wouldn’t budge” on their request for a return package featuring somebody impactful from New York’s major league roster.

Because Ramos was traded from the Rays to the Phillies last summer, he could not be tendered a qualifying offer. His contract costs the Mets money, but nothing else. They can now redirect those young assets to upgrade at other positions, either this offseason or if/when a need arises in 2019.

The Braves, Yankees, Reds, Rays and Padres are among the likeliest Realmuto landing spots at this point. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro believes the Dodgers “remain in the mix” as well. Frisaro adds that the Fish don’t feel pressured to rush into a deal, so buckle up: this saga could extend into the new year.