From the Wire….Ramirez and Wood Agree to New Deals to Stay with Cubs

Updated – 4:58pm C.T. – With Contract Info on Wood and Ramirez….Plus A Great Quote from Jim Hendry
Updated – 10:25pm C.T. – Hendry Confirmed on Sunday the Cubs Interest in Soriano

Aramis Ramirez and Kerry Wood Agreed to New Deals on Sunday with the Cubs

According to several reports out of Chicago, Aramis Ramirez and Kerry Wood signed new deals on Sunday to remain with the Chicago Cubs for 2007 and beyond. Wood signed a 1-year, incentive laden deal that could pay him up to $6 million dollars and Ramirez signed a 5-year, $73 million dollar deal with a mutual option for 2012. Wood’s deal has a base salary of $1.75 million and with incentives could end up being worth $6 million as previously mentioned.

The best aspect about the signings is both players kept their word and took less money to stay in Chicago. In today’s society trust is very important and is good to hear of an athlete wanting to play in a city and take less money to do so. This signing by Ramirez could be a big key to the rest of the off-season. By him leaving an estimated $20 – $30 million dollars on the table (scroll down for the quote from Jim Hendry) it sends a message to the other free agents that something good is going to happen in Chicago.

The contract for Ramirez will make him the highest paid Cub in the history of the franchise….$1 million more than Sammy Sosa received in 2001.

From and – “It was a situation, obviously, where I think at the end of the day, the player did want to be here,” Jim Hendry said on Sunday. “It’s not much of a secret, the figures that were being bantered around would’ve been much higher. As good as a deal as this is for any player, I certainly believe there was a six- or seven- year deal guaranteed out there that would’ve paid him $20 million more than he got.”

“He was the lucky beneficiary of being a free agent at a time when his services were needed. The people of Chicago should be glad to know that he did leave a lot out there.”

That quote speaks volumes and the fact Jim Hendry did not sit by and let Ramirez walk away speaks volumes as well. Hendry acted quickly when he knew he had to.

A report in the Chicago Tribune by Paul Sullivan indicated Ramirez left nearly $30 million on the table. The Angels were ready to sign Ramirez and the Cubs “beat them to the punch.” According to the same report Wood would have received “twice as much” from teams like the Rangers, Astros and Red Sox.

There is no other way to look at these signings except from a positive, win-win standpoint for the Cubs.

Update – A report in the Chicago Tribune by Paul Sullivan has stated that Jim Hendry has confirmed the Cubs interest in Alfonso Soriano. The Cubs were rumored to have designated Soriano as their number one off-season target. If the Cubs do land Soriano, he would play centerfield and a healthy lineup that included Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Matt Murton, Michael Barrett, Jacque Jones and Alfonso Soriano….although incredibly right-handed, would be one that could cause opposing pitchers trouble all season.

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver