The 31-year-old started the 2018 season with the Tampa Bay Rays. He earned his second career All-Star selection after hitting .297/.346/.488 in 78 games over the first half. A hamstring injury suffered in a July 14 game against the Minnesota Twins prevented him from taking part in the Midsummer Classic.
While Ramos was on the disabled list rehabbing his injury, the Rays traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies. He was terrific down the stretch, posting a robust .337/.396/.483 slash line in 33 games after the deal.
The Phillies struggled in the second half, going 27-40 after the All-Star break to finish two games under .500. Ramos' role was primarily that of a mentor to Jorge Alfaro, but he still made his presence felt when manager Gabe Kapler used him.
Given the limited market for catchers this offseason, Ramos figured to be a hot commodity. He's an above-average hitter and defender behind the plate, with 5.3 defensive value, per FanGraphs.
There are concerns for the Mets to consider as Ramos moves deeper into his 30s. He tore his ACL in the final week of the 2016 season, which caused him to miss the first three months of the following year.
Last season marked the fourth time in the Venezuelan's nine-year Major League Baseball career that he's played in at least 100 games.
Even with those durability red flags, Ramos provides tremendous value at one of the most important positions on the field. His all-around ability makes him an underrated asset in this loaded free-agent class and a terrific pickup for the Mets heading into 2019.
The Mets were in desperate need of a starting catcher. Kevin Plawecki was unable to grab the brass ring in his longest look behind the dish last season. He hit just .210/.315/.370 with seven homers in 238 at-bats and ranked 28th out of 34 catchers in FanGraphs' defensive value.
Ramos' success as a hitter makes him a significant upgrade over any of New York's backstops in 2018. ESPN's Keith Law noted Ramos' framing stats have declined a bit over the past two seasons but that it could be the result of more catchers being better in that area.
This is a crucial offseason for the Mets coming off consecutive losing seasons. Ramos joins Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz, who were acquired in a trade with the Seattle Mariners, as New York attempts to return to the postseason for the first time since 2016.