The Miami Marlins traded closer AJ Ramos to the New York Mets for a pair of minor leaguers on Friday.
With multiple teams having reported interest in Ramos, the Mets were considered an unlikely destination. Not only are the Mets in Miami's division, but they are mostly out of contention. Having Ramos under team control in 2018, was likely a big selling point for the Mets. New York is expected to try and contend again next season, while Miami may be farther away with title contention.
Ramos made his debut in 2012 for Miami and worked his way into the closers role, after serving as a set-up man. The fiery right-hander has an assortment of pitches and can be dominant at times. Ramos is expected to take over New York's closer role for now, but could slide back into the eighth inning in the future.
Coming back to Miami in the trade were RHP Merandy Gonzalez and OF Ricardo Cespedes. Neither player is close to the big leagues, but both have potential. Gonzalez is the top prospect coming back in the deal, after a solid season in Low-A ball. Cespedes had gotten off to a slow start with the Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn League.
In Columbia and Port St. Lucie this season, Gonzalez has a combined 1.78 E.R.A with 89 strikeouts in 106 innings pitched. The right-hander is only 21 and will likely slide into Jupiter's rotation. With continued success, Gonzalez could be a candidate for AA Jacksonville in 2018. At that point, a big-league promotion becomes a possibility.
Cespedes has a .243 average with one home run and 15 runs batted in during his 30 games played. At only 19, there is plenty of time for Cespedes to find his stroke still. At previous levels, the outfielder had produced well for the Mets' organization.
Miami may still make more moves ahead of Monday's trade deadline. The core is expected to remain in place, but the Marlins could move some of their other talent.