Source: Ramirez close to returning on one-year deal

The Nationals are close to finalizing a deal to bring Erasmo Ramirez back for the 2023 season, re-signing an invaluable member of this season’s pitching staff.

There remain a few more details to sort out before the deal is announced, including the removal of someone else from the club’s 40-man roster to open a slot, but a source confirmed the two sides are close and it should be finalized within a few days. The one-year contract would pay Ramirez as much as $2 million if he meets all incentives, according to The New York Post’s Jon Heyman.

Of the Nationals players who became free agents at season’s end, Ramirez looked the most likely to return, given his importance to the pitching staff and modest contract demands. It took a few months, but the sides appear on the verge of a deal that should be a boost to an already deep bullpen.

Though his work was often unheralded, Ramirez was a critical part of the Nats pitching staff this season, a jack of all trades who finished with a 2.92 ERA and 1.077 WHIP over a hefty 86 1/3 innings. He was one of only three major league relievers – along with the Rangers’ Brock Burke and the Angels’ Jaime Barria – to post an ERA under 3.00 while pitching at least 75 innings.

Originally signed to a minor league deal, Ramirez didn’t make the Opening Day roster. The Nationals called up the 32-year-old from Triple-A Rochester only two weeks into the season, though, and he never went back.

A versatile and experienced pitcher with a rubber arm, Ramirez was used in just about every possible role out of the bullpen over the course of the season. He made two emergency starts against the Braves, one due to a last-minute rain delay, one due to a doubleheader. After thriving in low-leverage spots during the summer, he was used by manager Davey Martinez in more situations of consequence come August and September. Over his final 19 appearances, he posted a 1.55 ERA and 0.724 WHIP.

Though he was an unconventional choice, Ramirez was named the Nationals’ Pitcher of the Year at season’s end, selected by media members for displaying the kind of consistency other, higher-profile pitchers on the staff could not.

Ramirez would join a host of other relievers returning to the Nats after quietly enjoying group success in 2022. Kyle Finnegan, Carl Edwards Jr., Hunter Harvey, Andres Machado, Mason Thompson and Paolo Espino all remain under club control, not yet eligible for free agency. Tanner Rainey is expected to return from Tommy John surgery sometime during the summer. Sean Doolittle is attempting to return from a less invasive elbow procedure, having re-signed on a minor league deal.

Fate of 2023 Nats doesn't fall on offseason additi...
Thanks to reliable sources, Williams excited to jo...

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to