In an effort to shore up their outfield depth, the Texas Rangers have signed Henry Ramos to a minor league contract with Spring Training invite.
The Texas Rangers still lack a true everyday center fielder for Opening Day in 2020 and while they continue their search for impact signings, they are making moves to short up their outfield depth. The club entered the offseason with an overstocking of outfielders but after dealing Nomar Mazara and Delino DeShields in separate trades, Texas now just has Willie Calhoun and Joey Gallo who look set to be everyday outfielders. Earlier this offseason they added Adolis Garcia off waivers from the Cardinals and now the club has announced the signing of Henry Ramos to a minor league contract that includes a Spring Training invitation.
Ramos was formerly a 5th round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 2010 and has since spent his time grinding through the minor league levels. A switch hitter, Ramos spent 2010-16 in the Red Sox organization before joining the Dodgers in 2017-18 and most recently the Giants organization in 2019. He’s spent the majority of the past six seasons at the Double-A level or higher with some solid results.
In 2019, Ramos was with the Giants organization at the Triple-A level and played in 96 games. He hit .269 for the Sacramento River Cats with 12 homers and a .757 OPS. Across his minor league career, he’s a .275 hitter to go with a .751 OPS and 386 RBIs. Defensively is where Ramos fits in the organization though with the majority of his playing time in the minors coming in right and center field.
Texas currently has Danny Santana listed as the starting center fielder and while he certainly has a bat worth having in the lineup, his defensive ability was suspect at best last season. Joey Gallo is an above average defensive outfielder however the long-term plan is for him to stick in right field which is where his monster arm profiles best, not to mention is a less physically demanding spot. Besides those two with significant center field experience, the club has fourth outfielder Scott Heineman who can play center, although his bat is a concern. Joining Heineman is Nick Solak who isn’t so much a center field option as he is a player that Texas is trying to find a spot for in the lineup because of his hitting potential.
Bringing in Ramos to join Adolis Garcia, signed earlier this offseason, won’t preclude the Rangers from making additional moves. They are reportedly among a trio of frontrunners for top outfield free agent Marcell Ozuna and have been linked repeatedly with Nick Castellanos. The club is also thought to be exploring the trade market with many avenues still available. Henry Ramos will be given a shot to compete this spring and if he doesn’t secure a big league spot, can be some insurance at the top level of the minors in case there’s an injury in Arlington.