July 12, 2024

Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Harold Ramirez stands on the field during a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The Tampa Bay Rays have released Harold Ramirez, their designated hitter/outfielder, following his recent designation for assignment, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Ramirez is now a free agent eligible to sign with any team.

Ramirez was expected to hit the open market after being DFA’d due to his struggles at the plate and significant salary commitment. Despite a strong performance in the 2022-23 seasons, where he posted a .306/.348/.432 slash line, Ramirez’s defensive limitations and low walk rate made him less attractive in trade talks during the offseason and Spring Training. With Tampa Bay responsible for the majority of his $3.8 million salary, any new team would only owe him the prorated league minimum for the remainder of the season.

Rays shopping designated hitter Harold Ramirez | Yardbarker

In 2024, Ramirez has faced challenges, hitting .268 with a subpar .284 on-base percentage and a .305 slugging percentage. His offensive production has been 27% below league average by wRC+, mainly due to his lack of walks and power. Despite these struggles, Ramirez’s ability to hit left-handed pitching well (.310 average in limited plate appearances) could make him a low-risk, potentially high-reward addition for teams needing right-handed batting depth, especially against left-handed pitchers.

Several teams, including the Reds, Nationals, Rangers, and Cardinals, who have struggled with DH production and against left-handed pitching, might consider Ramirez as a cost-effective option moving forward, given his arbitration control through the 2025 season.

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