The Chicago Cubs made an under the radar move on Friday night. Around 8:00 p.m. CDT in Chicago, Jed Hoyer pulled the trigger on a trade. The deal sends outfielder Harold Ramirez to Tampa Bay Rays for infielder Esteban Quiroz.
Quiroz is a 30-year-old infielder that spent majority of the 2021 season at the Triple-A level. He is an interesting addition for the Cubs. Quiroz has spent a lot of time in the minor leagues. Literally, he’s hit over .271 in every season since 2015. However, Quiroz never received what seemed to be a worthy opportunity. His situation feels very similar to another Cub: Patrick Wisdom.
Perhaps the Cubs see a Quiroz in a similar fashion to how they view Wisdom. If there is a major injury on the infield, or Jed simply wants a deep roster and sees Quiroz as a bench/platoon piece with Nico Hoerner and Nick Madrigal, he provides value to the Cubs. A designated hitter role wouldn’t be an awful usage either to get his high-average bat in the lineup.
In 2021, Quiroz slashed .276/.414/.560 with 14 home runs and 57 RBIs in 72 games. Although it wasn’t a ton of games, the 5-foot-6 infielder was very productive. He is such an interesting case with low-risk, high-reward potential. Who knows what might happen with a fair opportunity?
Rays Fan Reaction
According to @RayMetrics on Twitter, they appear to be fans of the player. They explain his situation with some very interesting context. It centers around Quiroz needing to be added to the 40-man roster.
These trades are interesting. They are all instances where a player got a fair shake with someone else and was somewhat productive. That type of comparison feeds the hope that this guy is another Patrick Wisdom, Frank Schwindel, or other created player story in MLB.
Ramirez’s Stay was Short
The Cubs acquired Harold Ramirez from the Cleveland Guardians back in November. The Cubs and new general manager Carter Hawkins nabbed the outfielder. The new Cubs GM has seen quite a bit of him from his time in Cleveland. Hawkins clearly saw potential with Ramirez in Chicago.
However, the Cubs are loaded in the outfield. With Jason Heyward now playing center field, Seiya Suzuki owning right field, and a platoon of players like Clint Frazier and Ian Happ in left field, Ramirez became very expendable. Also, although he was sent to minor league camp, Brennen Davis isn’t far from the big leagues either, and he may player any of the three outfield positions in Chicago. Now, the Cubs bolster an area that wasn’t as deep (middle infield) and add a player with big upside.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Cubs are back in action on Saturday after a rough loss to the Colorado Rockies on Friday. They swipe the slate clean by paying the San Diego Padres a visit at their place on Saturday afternoon. The game will begin at 3:10 p.m. CDT.
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