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Former Rays OF/DH Latches on in Washington

Photo by MLB Photos

WASHINGTON, DC: Harold Ramirez, an outfielder and designated hitter, has signed a minor league contract with the Nationals, the team said. Ramirez was released by the Rays, and he will report to Triple-A Rochester.

Before being traded from the Cubs to the Rays in March 2022, Ramirez had put up unimpressive stats in his first three seasons in the Major League Baseball. After that, he became a reliable and consistent member of Tampa Bay's lineup.

In 869 plate appearances in 2022–2023 Ramirez hit .306/.348/.432 with 18 home runs. He was primarily used as a DH, although he also saw some action at first base and in both corner outfield positions.

The Rays attempted to use Ramirez as a weapon against left-handed pitching even though he is not a platoon player because most of his right-handed hitting output naturally came against southpaws.

A major asterisk on Ramirez's Tampa Bay career is his .354 BABIP in 2022–2023, which he achieved despite relatively poor walk and barrel rates and generally mediocre hard-contact figures thanks to some batted-ball luck.

This season, Ramirez's numbers finally caught up to him. Despite still having a.328 BABIP, his slash line of .268/.284/.305 over 169 PA caused the Rays to designate the 29-year-old for assignment. When no suitor materialized to swing a deal or file a waiver claim, they released him completely.

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