Dodgers taking flyer on former All-Star AJ Ramos is a savvy move

The Los Angeles Dodgers signed former All-Star reliever AJ Ramos on Thursday.

AJ Ramos hasn’t played in an MLB game since 2018, but his comeback attempt received some promise as the Los Angeles Dodgers stepped in to give him a real opportunity. Not only was Ramos signed to a contract, but he’ll be added to Los Angeles’ 60-man player pool as well, giving him a real opportunity to see playing time during Dodgers’ camp, at the very least.

Ramos made the All-Star team as a member of the Miami Marlins in 2016, but saw a significant downturn come the 2017 season, when he was traded to the New York Mets. Out of New York and with a fresh mindset as a middle relief option, the Dodgers are banking very little capital on the idea that he’ll be able to bounce back to his previous form.

AJ Ramos is a worthwhile flyer for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ramos only pitched half of the 2018 season, in which he struggled, before he was sidelined with shoulder issues. He hasn’t pitched in a major league game since, but appeared to have regained his fastball velocity in workouts for MLB teams this offseason. In Los Angeles, he’ll be under very little pressure to contribute right away. The Dodgers’ bullpen could use some help at the back end, even with the likes of Kenley Jansen a guarantee to close games in 2020.

Most importantly, however, the Dodgers are increasing their roster flexibility by signing Ramos. Having a former All-Star reliever at your disposal in the age of COVID-19, where any player could be forced to miss 2-3 weeks should they catch the virus, is smart.

There’s no guarantee that Ramos will regain his previous form, but this is still the same pitcher who had 99 saves between 2015-17. He’s worth taking a chance on, especially on a low price tag.

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