Ramirez Headed for Free Agency?

According to multiple reports, Aramis Ramirez’s days as a Cub could be coming to an end. Ramirez left Tuesday’s game after the sixth inning with a mild right quad strain and is doubtful for the home finale on Wednesday. Ramirez was asked about his future with the Cubs.

Ramirez said, “Yeah, there is a good chance I’m a free agent. I don’t know what’s happening, but it looks like I’m going to hit the market.” According to Bruce Levine, Ramirez’s agent, Paul Kinzer, is scheduled to meet with interim GM Randy Bush at some point over the next two days to discuss Ramirez’s future with the Cubs. Ramirez is looking for a three-year contract.

Aramis Ramirez said that he has not spoken with Tom Ricketts or anyone in the Cubs’ front office and thinks he is “ready to move on.” Ramirez would like to stay with the Cubs and he feels he can play three more years.

Click Here for Report from Chicago Tribune

Click Here for Report from ESPN Chicago

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  • Schwimmer

    I say if ARAM wants 3 years…he should move on.  He’s worth 2 years only!  

    It’s about time the CUBS started bringing up rookies to play in the Majors and letting them develop.   Most teams bring up young prospects and give them regular playing time to prove themselves.   And, I don’t mean playing every “3rd game.”  I mean playing every day for 2 or 3 weeks or more.  How can a young rookie relax when he feels like he has to “prove” his value “every day!”  But if he knows he’s got 3-4 weeks or 2-3 months, he can play with some confidence. But this is not the approach that the CUBS take with young players.  They would rather play “tired” old veterans than give young players a chance to develop into full time position players.Very sad.  And, another example of the dysfunction of CUBS management.  And, why a new GM and new MANAGER can succeed where previous ones have failed.

    I say…the next GM is likely to be BILLY BEANE.  (Unlikely that CASHMAN, EPSTEIN or FRIEDMAN will leave their teams.)    If he’s the new GM, I think it would be great for the CUBS!

  • Brp921

    I will have good memories of Aram he’s been a good player for the Cubs, but if he wants free agency so be it. Pick up his option and let him walk. He should be a type A free agent which will bring a supplemental 1st round draft choice. The Cubs should build for the future.

    • Aaron

      The way I understand it is the Cubs CANNOT receive compensation for ARAM due, again, to Hendry’s incompetence as GM. He not only included clauses in contracts for no-trades, but he also included clauses in some contracts where they were not allowed to offer arbitration.

      Miles and Levine clearly have no memory of this, as you won’t see this in their recent articles about ARAM, but I remember it vividly from earlier this season when there was a question about trading or keeping him, and the compensatory picks were brought up. Someone verified this by finding an article somewhere explaining the buyout, options, etc., and I cannot seem to find it, but I’m pretty sure the way it works is it’s a mutual option, which means the team can offer, thus he wouldn’t get the buyout money, or they can reject, he can accept, and he gets the buyout money.

      • studio179

        I was thinking the Cubs offer arbitration to Ram for the picks, too. Then you brought up this ridiculous clause in his contract. Not you bringing it up is ridiculous, the clause itself is ridiculous. It hit me. I now remember debate about Ramirez and arbitration. I think you are correct. I don’t think the Cubs can offer Ramirez arbitration. I can not find validation to this, but I believe your explanation is exactly how it works right after the World Series with Ramirez.

      • Brp921

        I have not heard that before, if it’s true then I will change my opinion that Hendry ever made any good moves. I don’t see how that type of a clause could have in any way motivated Ramirez to sign for any less, or signed a contract extension with the Cubs instead of opting for free agency back when he signed. Do teams looking for free agents pay more money to players when they don’t have to give up a draft choice? The only possibility I can think of is it might bring a couple of more teams into the bidding, but I don’t see that changing the amount he’ll command that much. All I see is Hendry shooting himself (the Cubs) in the foot with that type of a clause. Am I missing something here?

  • Tony_Hall

    I was a big ARam fan for many years.  But it is time to move on.  He is not worth 3 years the money he will expect.  The Cubs should pick up his 1 year option at most, and then let him decide what to do.  Offer him arbitration even, but do not give him a 3 year contract. 

    But, if he is willing to say it’s time to move on, then I say OK.  Stop writing his name in the lineup card, along with Pena, Soriano, Byrd, Soto, Hill, Dewitt, Baker, etc.  Play the kids, lets give them a short stretch of games to play everyday, and get a leg up on spring training.

  • Tony Spumoni

    So Aramis thinks he is “ready to move on”.  Would that be in a wheelchair?  Running to first base is the first thing a baseball player needs to do, and Aramis can’t do it without hurting himself.  Let’s move in a different direction.

  • Bryan

    Aramis has been a great member of the Cubs during his 8 year run, and allowed us to forget the revolving door at 3B over the prior decades.  While we can certainly question his work ethic and overall leadership qualities, the guy can (and has) certainly hit.  It’s probably time to have him “move on” (or consider moving over to 1B), but in the “total body of work” he’s been worth the investment over the years. 

  • John G

    Let’s be honest. ARam has provided us all with many great moments. Rmember Ronnie always called him “an RBI machine”. When he was on, he was WAY on. But when he was off, he could be horrible. Let’s also be honest about his “bell curve”. He is past that apex and it is only going to be downhill from here on out. He could still provide some punch, but maybe not with the “consistency” (if you can call it that) that he did before. This is the case with a lot of veterans who have been playing 8 – 10 years. Why would anyone give them 3 year contracts? Look at how we are stuck with the Fonz. If I were a GM, I would offer a very lucrative contract to a veteran free agent but base it on performance. You continue to perform, you get rewarded big time. You fail to perform, you get rewarded not so much. Of course, if I were a GM, no one would sign those contracts.

    Good luck to ARam. No one can doubt his contributions to the team. But his work ethic and leadership skills, at least to us on the outside looking in, left a little to be desired. And that may just be one of the major reasons that the Cubs are the Cubs. When a veteram excels on the field, the younger guys look to him for leadership off the field. We are better off without ARam or Z because they could never set that off field example. I would have said the same about the Fonz, but after the Z epsiode, he may have been a quiet leader in the clubhouse.

    Speaking of Z. Things have been pretty quiet. Are there any rumors? I have been out of the country for the last week and a half, so I haven’t heard anything. There’s no baseball on TV in Italy. Only some boring sport with a bunch of guys running around kicking a ball and not scoring.

  • paulcatanese

    Until I wake up, this is all I can think of. Regarding Aram, 1st base or no place.
    Should have been over there last fall, period. Doesn’t agree, let him walk.

  • Aaron

    If ARAM leaves via FA, it’s highly likely they would seek to give the 3B job to either Vitters (provided he has a great AZFL stint) or Flaherty.

    This would also speed along the process of revamping the entire team, as there would be NO reason to hang onto the likes of Soriano, Pena, and Byrd without ARAM on the team. Sure, they have produced a good amount of runs this year, but has it really made a difference?!?

    The only problem I have with ARAM leaving is it likely means Baker stays with the team for insurance, and he is NOT a run producer. LeMahieu is a far better option than Baker, and has proven to be a run producer in the minors, and is more versatile than Baker, being able to play SS in addition to the other IF positions.

    A roster that includes the following players wouldn’t be half bad, and you can bet that they’d win as much, if not more games than the team won this year. Plus, the guys listed below, in most cases, can play multiple positions, offering a great deal of flexibility in games. And because Clevenger has played 1B and 3B in addition to catcher, you could conceivably keep Soto on the roster, and give Vitters or Flaherty more time in the minors:
    C-Clevenger, Castillo
    1B-LaHair
    2B-LeMahieu, Barney
    SS-Castro, M. Gonzalez
    3B-Vitters, Flaherty
    LF-Ridling
    CF-Jackson, Campana
    RF-Colvin

    And what I also like about that team, is the fact that it gets them out of the system, allowing other players to move up, such as:
    C-Gibbs
    1B-Bour, Jones
    2B-Cerda, Watkins
    SS-Lake, Alcantara
    3B-Rohan
    LF-Wright
    CF-Szczur, Crawford
    RF-Ha, Easterling

    ….who in turn, would be moving up to create space for:
    C-Rosario, Lopez, Marra
    1B-Vogelbach, Hoilman
    2B-DeVoss, Lockhart
    SS-Baez
    3B-Shoulders (has played there before)
    LF-Schlecht, Gretzky
    CF-Dunston Jr., Martin
    RF-Klafczynski

    …..and none of this is including guys like Malave, Marcono, Acosta, Jeffrey Baez, Candelario, or Penalver from Latin America.

    So, you can begin to see the logjam that is about to happen in the minors, and the need to move guys along to the big leagues, or start making some trades to get established MLB guys like Matt Kemp, Eithier, or David Wright (though, given his concussion issues, I might steer clear of him).

    The problem I’ve always had with the Cubs is their lack of a plan, and forward-thinking. They always seem to be more reactionary than anything else. By the time they call someone up, they’re usually mid-to-late 20’s, and if they struggle at all, they’re sent right back down, or shipped out. Rather than bring them up when they’re Castro’s age like most teams do, the Cubs tend to let their prospects rot in the uppper rungs of the system until they are minor league Rule 55 free agents, or lose them in the Rule 5 draft. I’m NOT trying to paint a picture that all of the Cubs past prospects would’ve been All-Stars, but what I am saying is that the Cubs DEFINITELY ruined their development, and the BIGGEST evidence of this is what Quade is doing right now to the young guys.

    Guys like Montanez, Campana, LeMahieu, Colvin, etc., and even pitchers like Gaub and Dolis, have absolutely rotted on the bench while he plays out the string with guys that don’t even factor into their future.

    We have seen some pretty awful Cubs teams over the years, and they ALL follow the same pattern, which is playing out the string with veterans that don’t factor into the future. Good leadership at the top would mandate to the field manager that they play the rookies, or else they’re gone after the season. This is PRECISELY why the Cubs have had to overspend in recent years in the free agent market, because they have no clue what they have in their own damn system. And then when Spring Training rolls around, and those prospects actually beat out veterans for positions on the roster, management always likes to claim that “it’s just Spring Training….guys are still working out the kinks”

    Let’s hope the new GM comes in and cleans house, otherwise it’s going to be the same old story. They need new blood, and I’m hoping if they can’t get Epstein,or Friedman, that they’ll somehow land a Cherington

  • Aaron

     I sincerely hope Sullivan’s latest tweet about Quade is not true….”Quade says he believes he will be back”….

    WOW!!!!!!!!!! Really?!?!?!? I hope Quade isn’t being told this, and the same voice that tells him to keep playing the veterans is in fact the one telling him this, because if it’s coming from the top…..WOW….I don’t know if I can be a fan anymore

    • Bryan

      Aaron….Quade has to be delusional to think he has a prayer of coming back.  There isn’t a GM candidate out there that would want Mike Quade at the helm in 2012.  Typical Quade thinking.  This year, the vets won’t have a say in his future.  The guy is GONE.