Rays trade Wilson Ramos to Phillies for cash/PTBNL

Wilson Ramos is sidelined by a hamstring injury, but is happy to be at the All-Star Game. [MARC TOPKIN   |   Times]
Wilson Ramos is sidelined by a hamstring injury, but is happy to be at the All-Star Game. [MARC TOPKIN | Times]
Published Jul. 31, 2018|Updated Jul. 31, 2018

The Rays made a deal to trade still-sidelined C Wilson Ramos, shipping him to the Phillies today for cash or a player to be named.

The return is not expected to be much, but the Rays do get to off-load the bulk of the $3.3 million on Ramos $10.5 million contract. Ramos said his hamstring is feeling good catching and hitting but he isn't ready to start running yet, though expects to be back in action within two weeks.

Ramos looked to be one of the Rays' biggest trade chips until he strained his left hamstring on July 14, which forced him to miss the All-Star Game with expectations he'd be out until late August.

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But he recovered quickly, good enough to go through a workout and catch a live batting practice on Saturday, though not quite enough to play as hoped in a rehab game on Monday. That obviously was not enough to block a deal, though the Rays could have gotten more if he was healthy.

Ramos, 31 next month, had proven he had recovered from his devastating 2016 knee injury and, even with some defensive flaws, was back to top form. He was hitting .297 with 14 homers, a team-leading 53 RBIs, an .834 OPS and a .372 average with runners in scoring position.

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Plus, he's provided a guiding hand in steering the young pitching staff through the injuries and innovative strategies.

Trading Ramos seemed the plan since the Rays signed him at the 2016 winter meetings, knowing he'd spend the the first half of 2017 rehabbing and the second working back into form. They figured to get a solid first four months out of him this season and then cash in, saving the last third of his $10.5 million salary, after paying him $4 million last year.

There was really no reason not to deal him, as he has been planning to head to free agency and to collect the jackpot he was denied by the knee injury, somewhere around $40 million over three years.