It’s time for the Miami Marlins to trade A.J. Ramos
By Mark Laming
The news came out early Saturday afternoon that the Philadelphia Phillies had acquired former number one overall pick Mark Appeal in exchange for fire-balling reliever Kenny Giles. Giles, regarded as one of the top relief men in baseball commanded a top-tier price which was given by the Astros.
The Marlins have two highly regarded relief pitchers, closer A.J. Ramos and setup man Carter Capps. Ramos stepped into his first full season with the Marlins with ease saving 34 games and making a convincing case to stay as the closer for the Marlins into 2015. During the winter meetings, Ramos was one of the name mentioned in trade discussions, talks that flew under the radar with the monumental Jose Fernandez rumors looming over the team. Ramos was solid and concistent last season for the Marlins and was looking to be one of the top names in the Miami Marlins bullpen in 2016.
Sep 2, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins relief pitcher Carter Capps (22) throws during the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Then there’s Carter Capps, the heat throwing setup man who nosily burst onto the scene in the middle of 2015. Making headlines for his unconventional delivery, Capps brought the heat firing high 90s to 100 MPH fastballs past hitters in a breakout 2015 season. Capps had his season cut short by injury, but dominated during his time healthy on the mound. At one point, New York Yankees hitters cheered when they saw that Capps would not be returning to the mound for another inning.
The Marlins are faced with a choice, go with the proven product in A.J. Ramos, or take the gamble on the up and coming Carter Capps. Both have showed flashes of brilliance and both are relatively young (Ramos is 29, Capps is 25.) both providing viable options for the present and the future of the team. Both were above replacement level players in 2015, and both have plenty of room for improvement in 2016.
So why should the Marlins trade Ramos and keep Capps? Capps has a higher ceiling proving to be near impossible at times in 2015. Capps has an overpowering and dominant fastball that hits unbelievable speeds while Ramos does not have one dynamic pitch like Capps does. Also, in 2015 Capps had a microscopic 1.16 ERA and left over 90% of the baserunners he allowed stranded. A strikeout artist, Capps had almost 17 strikeouts per nine innings a truly dynamic number.
On the other side Ramos was no slouch either, a 2.30 ERA is extremely solid. Ramos struck out 11 batters per 9 innings and put together by all means an extremely solid season. But with the prices being charged for closers and solid relief pitchers, the Marlins need to part ways with one, and A.J. Ramos should be the pitcher the Marlins cut ties with.
With a dead farm-system, the Marlins need to rebuild it through trades. With the return the Phillies got for Gilies, the Marlins could see something similar if they decided to trade Ramos or Capps. The amount one of the two could fetch would be more than enough compensation and should help get the Marlins system back on track.
With the potential of Capps, you must hold on to him. With how much potential he has shown so young, it would be foolish to part ways with a young and developing pitcher like Capps. Even though Ramos has showed tremendous promise, for the right package of prospects he should be shipped out.