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Insider

Rays make a smart roll of the dice with Wilson Ramos

Catcher Wilson Ramos can say goodbye to the Nationals and hello to a new two-year deal with the Rays. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

I thought a healthy Wilson Ramos would have gotten four years and $60 million in this light free-agent class, as the best catching option available and one who was coming off a career year on offense. This deal, for two years and $12.5 million in guaranteed base salary, could be a huge bargain if Ramos is healthy enough to play regularly by June 2017. He'll earn up to $18.25 million if he hits all his incentives, well under fair market value for his kind of production even if it’s just over a year and a half of playing time. After Lasik eye surgery, Ramos improved across the board offensively, and behind the plate he continued to throw runners out at a well above-average rate. Baseball Prospectus’ framing numbers had him saving seven runs above an average catcher, a factor the Rays weigh very heavily in their decision-making.