We'll never know what might have been had Wilson Ramos not torn the ACL in his right knee on Sept. 26, whether it would have altered the Nationals' postseason fortunes and whether it would have altered their chances of re-signing him this winter.
Neither Ramos nor the Nationals can do anything about that now. They can only look forward. And for Ramos, that means some intense rehabilitation right now as the free agent catcher tries to convince teams around the sport he is still worth a long-term investment.
Ramos is currently in his sixth week of rehab following the second reconstructive right knee surgery of his career. And based on the video clips he has posted on Twitter, things appear to be progressing well.
In the videos, Ramos is seen doing squats, steps and other leg exercises, some of them without a brace on his repaired knee. He still has a long way to go before doing anything that resembles an actual baseball activity, but he certainly seems to be on the right track.
What does that mean for his 2017 employment status? Not much yet. Teams are understandably going to want to wait and see more from the 29-year-old catcher before making serious contract offers. And it behooves Ramos to wait this out, as well, hoping he can convince somebody to give him the four- or five-year contract he was going to seek before he got hurt.
The Nationals declined to make a $17.2 million qualifying offer to Ramos at the start of this month, but that doesn't preclude them from re-signing him. It still seems like a long shot, though, given the fact he is not expected to be ready to play until May or June.
The Nats also would understandably be reluctant to make a long-term offer to Ramos, who admitted himself he may have to look at American League clubs at this point because of the ability to serve as designated hitter and not need to catch 120-plus game per season.
Whatever ends up happening, there remain a lot of people in Washington who are hoping to see Ramos not only make a full recovery but recapture the form that made him an All-Star this season. Even if that ends up happening in another major league city.