Harold Ramirez can't be considered a legitimate solution to Cubs' offensive woes

With the Cubs squaring off against Tampa Bay, let's talk about the one-time former Cub--even if it was only for a Spring Training.
Wild Card Series - Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays - Game One
Wild Card Series - Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays - Game One / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

As the Chicago Cubs continue to come up short with runners in scoring position, calls for some external reinforcements grow louder by the day. Jed Hoyer's recent remarks don't inspire much confidence in a major trade acquisition, but as we've seen with Tyson Miller and, just Wednesday, Jorge Lopez, Hoyer is scouring the DFA market constantly.

Which brings us to 29-year-old Harold Ramírez, who was recently designated for assignment by the Tampa Bay Rays. You might remember Ramírez from his brief time with the Cubs during Spring Training in 2022. The Cubs acquired Ramirez in a trade with the Cleveland Guardians that offseason but moved him to the Rays prior to Opening Day.

Ramirez pretty quickly broke out at the plate during the 2022 season. That season, he batted .300/.343/.404 in 403 trips to the plate, adding two dozen doubles in the process. He followed it up with a .313 /.353/.460 line last year, good for a 125 OPS+.

The Cubs need a middle-of-the-order presence to get the offense back on track; not another flawed depth piece

This year, though, the bottom quickly fell out on Ramírez, who mustered just a .268/.284/.305 line before the Rays cut ties with him last week, designating him for assignment. The key thing to know here is we're talking about a guy who has to produce offensively - and at a high clip - because he's a complete defensive liability regardless of whether he's at first or in a corner outfield spot.

In an ideal scenario, Ramírez is a DH. The Cubs could, at least in theory, fit him into the rotation - but with Christopher Morel's defensive status very much in question, they are probably better off not having a guy locked into that role at this time. Factor in Michael Busch, who has been solid the last two weeks at the plate and carries a 122 OPS+ on the year needing regular at-bats and it's hard to find a path to playing time for Ramírez.

The big takeaway here is the Cubs aren't going to fix the offense by scraping the bottom of the bargain bin. The problem now (apart from the woeful numbers with RISP) is the fact Chicago lacks that big middle of the order presence. And if you think Ramírez is a real solution to that problem, you might fit in really well in Hoyer's front office.