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Rays sign Wilson Ramos to 2-year deal

The catcher, who is dealing with a serious knee injury, will join the Rays for the next two years.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The Rays have agreed to a 2-year deal with catcher Wilson Ramos, a source confirms to SB Nation. The deal, which is pending a physical, will guarantee $12.5 million and potentially will max out at $18.25 million due to playing time incentives.

Ramos would have been the top catcher available on this year’s free-agent market, but tore his ACL and meniscus at the end of the year before hitting the open market. The former Natinoal is hopeful to return sometime in the beginning of the season, though he could be out longer due to the severity of his injury.

Ramos joins Luke Maile and Curt Casali as catchers on the Rays’ depth chart, with those players likely filling in while Ramos is out.

Ramos, 29, had a fantastic 2016 campaign, hitting .307/.354/.496 with 22 homers and 80 RBI. He was named to his first career All-Star team and appeared in 131 games before getting hurt.

Ramos will provide an answer behind the plate for a Rays’ team that has largely struggled to find a solid starting catcher since the departure of Dioner Navarro. If he proves he is healthy in the next two seasons, Ramos will likely be in for a major free-agent payday in 2018.

Ramos has been with the Nationals since the 2010 campaign, when he was acquired as the main piece in a trade for Matt Capps.