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Tribe Should Bring Back Ramirez

2011/01/03
#15 Max Ramirez

Image by SeeMidTN.com (aka Brent) via Flickr

Not that Ramirez.

Per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers have designated Max Ramirez for assignment.

As you may recall, Ramirez was once traded by Atlanta to Cleveland for Bob Wickman.  At the time, it was considered quite a coup for the Tribe to obtain a 21-year-old catcher with an .857 OPS (albeit in Single-A) for a 37-year-old potbellied reliever who was missing part of the index finger on his right hand.

But just one year later the Tribe sent Ramirez, now 22 and sporting a .924 OPS in High-A, to the Rangers for the warmed-over remains of 40-year-old Kenny Lofton so that he could aid us down the stretch and retire an Indian.

Ramirez has never been much of a catcher—he wears a glove only when absolutely necessary—and he struggled to hit the past three seasons at Oklahoma City, where he posted a .700 OPS in 587 plate appearances.  But he routinely got on base more than 40 percent of the time in the low minors, and in 2008 he hit .354/.450/.646 as  a 23-year-old in AA for the first time.

Ramirez may never again hit as well as he did that season, and his weaknesses as a hitter might have been revealed once he began to face more advanced pitchers, but he had something special once.

And with the Indians in desperate need of right-handed power and loath to spend what it would take to bring back Manny, they would do well to sign this Ramirez to a minor league contract and see if the 26-year-old can get “it” back.

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