SEATTLE — AJ Ramos figured he would be on the move. But just like everyone else, he never anticipated that his destination would be the non-contending Mets.
“I wasn’t surprised about the trade, but coming here, yeah, I was surprised,” said Ramos, who joined the team Sunday, two days after his surprising trade from the Marlins for a pair of prospects. “I heard all kinds of names and different teams, but I didn’t hear about the Mets at all. So when they told me, I had to ask somebody, are you sure?”
The Mets made the move not to help this season — which they already have chalked up as one of failed expectations — but for next year, when they expect to contend again. Ramos, 30, will be in the final year of arbitration in 2018. He’s projected to make about $9 million.
“It’s a good place to come into,” said Ramos, who allowed two runs in his Mets debut in a 9-1 loss to the Mariners. “I’ve always loved New York, the city. So I’m eager and excited to get started.’’
With Addison Reed expected to be traded by Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline, Ramos would be a natural fit to slide into the closer’s role, at least until Jeurys Familia returns later in the season.
“They haven’t laid out anything,” Ramos said of his role. “I’m just focusing on wherever I pitch, to get outs, to do my job. I can’t control any of that stuff.”
Ramos features a fastball and slider, and his pitches have a natural cut thanks to an elongated middle finger. He has posted high strikeout numbers in his career but has struggled with his command at times.
He had a 3.63 ERA and 20 saves in 40 games for the Marlins this season. The former All-Star nailed down 32 saves in 2015 before following up with a career-high 40 last season.
Rookie Chris Flexen will start Wednesday against the Rockies. He allowed three runs in three innings in his major-league debut against the Padres on Thursday after being promoted from Double-A Binghamton.