Division rival cuts bait with intriguing hitter the Blue Jays should look into

The Rays have designated Harold Ramírez for assignment and despite his recent struggles, his overall form in the Majors means he could help the Blue Jays.
Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Even allowing for the recent run of success for the Toronto Blue Jays with a record of 9-4 in their past 13 games, the lineup still isn't good enough overall. Ahead of Monday's action, they are ranked 21st in team batting average and OPS, and -- most importantly -- tied 24th in the Majors for runs scored.

The Blue Jays need help, and it's possible they might be abel to get it from a divisional rival of all places. As per Adam Berry of MLB.com, the Tampa Bay Rays have designated Harold Ramírez for assignment.

The move was made as a result of the Rays activating Taylor Walls from the injured list. However, president of baseball operations Erik Neander admitted it wasn't an easy decision to drop Ramírez, who he was very complimentary about.

Regardless, you can appreciate why some Blue Jays fans may still ask why their team should consider Ramírez? He's not a power hitter, but even his ability to just get on base has taken a significant drop this season with an OBP of .289., as well as a poor. 589 OPS.

The offensive potential is still there

In fairness to the right-handed bat though, his overall offensive contributions since arriving in the Majors, have been good. Consider that just last year he set a whole host of single-season bests, including 12 home runs, 68 RBI, 58 runs, a .313/.353/.460 slash line, .813 OPS and 125 OPS+.

As noted by Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors, Ramírez is still hitting well versus lefties this year. He has a .310 batting average, albeit only in 58 plate appearances against southpaw pitchers.

Now it should be noted that the 29-year-old is not considered a quality defensive player, even allowing for his speed and athleticism. However, whether he's used as a designated hitter or for cover in the outfield, the Blue Jays should at least perform their due diligence and look into him.

Blue Jays already know Ramírez

In this respect, it will theoretically help that the Blue Jays is already familiar with Ramírez. He was a member of the organisation between August 2016 and the end of the 2018 season, after arriving as part of a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Cartagena, Colombia native never actually played in the Majors for the Blue Jays, but did show some promise in Double-A New Hampshire with the Fisher Cats. He particularly impressed in 2018, as he produced 11 homers and 70 RBI as part of a .320/,365/.471 slash line and .836 OPS.

Pending how much interest the Blue Jays may have in Ramírez, there is the factor of how the Rays decide to proceed at this point. They will either look to trade him, or place him on waivers.

In respect of any potential trade, the Rays have previously attempted to take this route with the former Miami Marlin, clearly with no success. If he is placed on waivers, will the Blue Jays -- or anyone -- be prepared to pay the balance of his guaranteed $3.8M for this season?

Jays have a confirmed interested party in a Guerrero Jr. trade. Jays have a confirmed interested party in a Guerrero Jr. trade. dark. Next

Ultimately though, the Blue Jays need to take a serious look into Ramírez and what he can potentially bring to Toronto. Assuming he can rediscover his offensive form of previous Major League seasons -- and there's no reason to think he can't -- he's the type of player who can help the lineup.