Mets deal Gonzalez, Cespedes to Marlins

Top-25 prospects traded for former All-Star closer Ramos

Merandy Gonzalez has established career highs with 12 wins, 89 strikeouts and 106 innings in 17 starts this season. (St. Lucie Mets)

By Michael Avallone / MiLB.com | July 29, 2017 12:00 AM

Sensing a chance to replenish their Minor League system, the Marlins landed a pair of top prospects in a surprising deal with the Mets on Friday night.

Miami sent Major League right-hander AJ Ramos to New York for right-hander Merandy Gonzalez and outfielder Ricardo Cespedes, two of the Mets' top 22 prospects.

Gonzalez, who was ranked ninth in the Mets system, was 12-3 with a 1.78 ERA in 17 starts for Class A Columbia and Class A Advanced St. Lucie. The 21-year-old began the year by tossing 28 1/3 scoreless innings in his first four starts. Overall, he's given up two runs or fewer 13 times and boasts a 0.98 WHIP and .212 opponents' batting average.

Signed by New York as an undrafted free agent in 2013, the native of the Dominican Republic has a 2.58 ERA in 72 Minor League appearances, including 55 starts. 

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Miami also gets Cespedes, formerly the Mets' 22nd-ranked prospect, who had a .255/.283/.294 slash line in 29 games across three levels this season. The New York-born outfielder was batting .240 with a homer and 12 RBIs in 20 games during a rehab assignment with Class A Short Season Brooklyn.

An All-Star in 2016 when he recorded a career-high 40 saves, Ramos leads the Marlins with 20 this season. The 30-year-old also has a 3.63 ERA and 47 strikeouts over 39 2/3 innings and is under team control next season, when he likely will set up Mets closer Jeurys Familia.

The move came one day after New York traded first baseman Lucas Duda to the Rays for No. 30 prospect Drew Smith, a right-handed reliever.

Michael Avallone is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MavalloneMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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