According to multiple reports, the Cubs have offered salary arbitration to Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena. Players have until December 7 to accept or decline salary arbitration.
The Cubs did not offer salary arbitration to Kerry Wood, Reed Johnson, Ramon Ortiz, Rodrigo Lopez or John Grabow. The Cubs are expected to re-sign Kerry Wood to either a one or two-year contract and are rumored to have interest in re-signing Reed Johnson.
Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena are both Type-B free agents and the Cubs could gain two sandwich picks (one for Ramirez and one for Pena) in next year’s draft if both players decline salary arbitration with the Cubs.
Aramis Ramirez is expected to decline salary arbitration. Paul Kinzer, Ramirez’s agent, recently said Ramirez would not be returning to the Cubs … that ship had sailed. At least five other teams have shown interest in Ramirez according to Bruce Levine. Ramirez wants a ring and is looking for a three-year deal with an option or a flat four-year contract. If Ramirez has a change of heart, the Cubs could be on the hook for between $17-18 million for Ramirez next season.
Carlos Pena’s agent, Scott Boras, should shop around Carlos Pena once Albert Pujols is no longer a free agent and Prince Fielder has signed his mega-contract. Pena, like Ramirez, could accept salary arbitration and the Cubs could be looking at a $12-$13 million price tag for Pena in 2012. Pena is expected to test the market and could be in line for a nice raise from the $10 million (three payments: $2 million in 2010, $3 million in 2011 and $5 million in January of 2012) the Cubs signed him for last winter.
Stay Tuned …
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