One of the first moves that the Chicago Cubs made during the offseason prior to the 2022 Major League Baseball regular season was to acquire first baseman/outfielder Harold Ramirez from the Cleveland Guardians.
Ramirez never would appear in a game for the Cubs, however, as the team moved him to the Tampa Bay Rays during the abbreviated Spring Training last season.
Considering the needs that the Cubs had at designated hitter, center field, and first base, it was a strange decision and one that the team probably regrets. During the 2022 season with the Rays, Ramirez slashed .300/.343/.404 last season with a 119 wRC+ and .327 wOBA.
Ramirez would have been a tremendous fit for the 2023 Cubs as well. Ramirez has thrived against left-handed pitchers throughout his career and even with the likes of Cody Bellinger and Trey Mancini, the 28-year-old could easily have slid into the team’s lineup as the designated hitter against lefties and saved the trouble of having to roster Eric Hosmer.
The Chicago Cubs could have benefited from having Harold Ramirez on their Major League roster.
The Rays are currently the best team in Major League Baseball and Ramirez is a large part of the reason why. Through his first 72 plate appearances this season, Ramirez is slashing .354/.417/.677 with 5 home runs. Given Ramirez’s ability to play both first base as well as the corner outfield spots, he would have offered more positional flexibility than the likes of Hosmer or Edwin Rios.
The player that the Cubs acquired from the Rays in exchange for Ramirez you might ask, infielder Esteban Quiroz. Quiroz had a run with the Cubs at the Major League level during the second half of the season and slashed .275/.370/.275 in 47 plate appearances. Quiroz was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies during the offseason for cash considerations.