Blue Jays reportedly tried to re-sign OF Harold Ramirez

Recent reports have indicated that the Blue Jays attempted to re-sign outfield prospect Harold Ramirez before he joined the Miami Marlins in early December.

According to Walter Villa of Baseball America, the Blue Jays tried hard to re-sign outfielder Harold Ramirez before he signed with the Miami Marlins on December 3, 2018.

Per the report, the Blue Jays offered Ramirez the largest bonus ($32,000), but Ramirez instead opted to take Miami’s $25,000 due in large part to the lack of outfield depth in the organization. It was also noted that he had received offers from 15 teams.

The Marlins, who had Brian Anderson, Lewis Brinson and Derek Dietrich start as outfielders in the majority of their games in 2018, reportedly informed Ramirez that Brinson is the only outfielder who is “a lock for a major league roster spot in 2019”.

Ramirez, 24, was acquired by the Jays in August 2016 from the Pittsburgh Pirates along with Reese McGuire and Francisco Liriano in exchange for Drew Hutchison.

Last season, he appeared in 120 games for the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, slashing a tremendous .320/.365/.471, adding 37 doubles, 11 home runs and 70 RBI to his season’s totals. He led the Eastern League in batting average and finished second in hits and doubles (behind only teammate Bo Bichette).

Long considered to be a potentially high-ceiling prospect, Ramirez was ranked as the organization’s No. 28 prospect in 2017 and No. 5 in 2016. He is currently unranked on Miami’s list of top prospects.

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins was, per TSN’s Scott Mitchell, encouraged by Ramirez’s improvement during the 2017 season offseason, saying in September 2018 that he “made some mechanical adjustments to try to get the ball in the air more this year and it showed with very strong all-around performance at the plate”.

While it is admittedly disappointing that the Jays were unable to re-sign Ramirez, it certainly makes sense from his point of view to try and make it with an organization that offers him an easier route to a major league roster spot.