From the Wire … Ramirez and Pena Decline Salary Arbitration

Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena declined salary arbitration from the Cubs prior to Wednesday’s deadline. The Cubs’ front office offered arbitration to both players in order to receive compensation in next June’s draft. Ramirez and Pena are Type-B free agents and once they sign elsewhere the Cubs will receive sandwich picks (round between first and second) for both players.

Rumors have suggested that Aramis Ramirez has several teams interested in signing him to a multi-year deal. When Ramirez opted out of his part of the mutual option for 2012, his agent, Paul Kinzer, said Ramirez was looking for at least a three-year deal that would allow him to play for a contender. The Brewers have emerged as the favorite to sign Aramis Ramirez.

As it turns out, the Cubs and Scott Boras had an agreement in place for Carlos Pena to decline salary arbitration so they would receive the draft pick. Rumors have suggested that Pena has multi-year deals on the table from other teams … and the Cubs have not shut the door on Carlos Pena returning.

The Cubs still owe Carlos Pena $5 million on last years $10 million “pillow” contract … Pena will receive the third and final payment in January.

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  • Demitri

    I’m very interested to see what goes on from here. 3rd and 1st are open and right now we have no idea whose going to be playing those positions. LaHair looks like the first baseman now but I dont think they just give him the job. I think Fielder comes here none the less. I wouldnt be mad at the move because hes 28. But i wouldnt be happy because hes overweight. Its going to be interesting

    • cubtex

      He’s not overweight…… He’s fluffy :-C

    • GaryLeeT

      I haven’t stayed current with the CCO postings, and I am sure it’s been discussed, but if the Fielder option falls through for 1st base, and a trade for Sanchez falls through if Fielder signs with the Marlins, how about Carlos Lee for a year?  The Astros have said they would pay half (or better) of his salary, and take a mid-level prospect in return. A 90+ RBI guy who rarely strikes out, for 9 million, isn’t too bad of a deal.

      • John_CC

        I think he is in the $18M range, so even half would be steep…but cheaper than Pena, and more productive. Starlin will have 37 throwing errors though…

  • Tony_Hall

    How much longer before we don’t have to be reminded of the deal making of Jim Hendry?   

    $5M more still to go out to a player no longer under contract to pay for a player they couldn’t afford last year and found a way to defer money on a 1 year contract and pre-pay money on the same 1 year contract.

    JH was creative in ways to spend money in other years, than the one he was signing the player to play, I’ll give him that.

    • cubtex

      He only had 10 mil to spend all last year. You can rip Hendry where there is cause……but not there. He added Garza, Pena,Reed Johnson and Kerrry Wood with that pocket change he was given. Pretty damn good value for those 4 players.

      • Tony_Hall

        But he spent more than $10M,  he actually spent $17M, when he only had $10M to spend, and that was with Kerry Wood giving him a deal.

        And we are still paying for it…just like the rest of the world, no one can stay on budget.

  • The Maven

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. If the the Cubs sign Fielder to any significant contract, by the time its over, they’l have to roll him off the field through one of those doors in the outfield like that girl who turned into a blueberry in Willy Wonka.

    • Ripsnorter1


    • John G

      If he was white, he’d look exactly like the StaPuft Marshmallow Man.

      With a beard. (And a really ugly beard, at that.)

    • GaryLeeT

       Seriously though, he can’t carry around that much weight without it eventually taking it’s toll on his body, just like it did on his dad. Cecil, although a force for about 5 years, was essentially done at age 33, because of the same issue.

    • Tony_Hall

      I agree, but if they are upfront with these concerns, now during the negotiations, they can address them in the contract.  

      Full no-trade during first 5 years, in exchange, he accepts that at some point he could need to become a DH, and lists 4-6 AL teams each year after year 5, that he is willing to be traded to that year.  

      Front-load the contract, so that the higher annual salaries are paid when he is in his prime, versus on the decline, which is also when we might not spend all the payroll budget anyways.

      • GaryLeeT

        Great point. The Cubs have all that Ramirez, and Fukudome money sitting there. Why not front load a contract for the productive years, and make him attractive to trade in the waning years?

  • cubtex

    Market is thin for Beltran…Wouldn’t he be a decent short term pickup? He seems to be a guy you can always trade to a contender midyear if your team is out of it. An outfield of Beltran, Byrd(until BJAX is ready) and DeJesus would be a decent short term approach until Szcur and others are ready.

  • Anthony

    play the kids

    • cubtex

      Which kids? I am saying Beltran on a 1 year deal. Yoy can trade him for prospects mid season to a contender if they are out of it.

      • Tony_Hall

        And after trading Soriano, Beltran can play RF, while DeJesus covers LF…sorry had to throw that in.

        • cubtex

          I was waiting Tony but at Beltran’s age…DeJesus is probably better in right.

          • John_CC

            I’m glad to hear you are coming around on DeJesus!

      • Anthony

        so, returned prospects, are also kids

        • cubtex

          Yes…but you shouldn’t play kids until they are ready. Theo has stated that he doesn’t believe in rushing kids. They have no outfield prospects who are ready with the possible exception of BJax.

  • cubs1967

    So, where’s Prince??

    So, Theo buys a home in Wrigleyville for $3.25M, which is $250K over the asking price.  HUH??……….in this housing recession.  As VP of Lending for a financial institution; I can assure you in 5 years if he is gone; he will not recoup that money.  So Theo is a genius huh??

    So, on the CCO Twitter feed, Will Carroll states (has to be wrong) Theo is stating 10 years to fix the Cubs.  So, does he think he’ll be around when I’m saying : 113 yrs, there is NO grace period.  NO. News flash team Theo, 5 yr contract, better have Cubs in playoffs in 2 of them minimum ‘cuz there ain’t gonna be any crowds if not nor will you be around in your LOSS of a home purchase.

    Maybe it’s just me; but at what point after 100 years is it NO longer funny on the Cubs failures??………

    Maybe the Cubs should be contracted if it’s gonna take 10 years!

    103 yrs and counting, there is NO grace period nor a Fielder (so far).

    • cubtex

      Yea but that house had a good WAR in 2007 :)

      • Tony_Hall

        I knew you would come around to liking WAR :)

      • cubtex

        I just heard the other day that when Theo won the blind bid for Dice K. …. his bid of 51 mil was much higher than any other teams bid. The next highest bid was around 35 mil. Whoops!!! Oh well, that worked out pretty good :)

    • Tony_Hall

      He didn’t say it would take 10 years to turn things around, he is telling his people to think about the next 10 years…how do we set this up to compete year after year, not have 1 or 2 year window, then have to start over again.

      • cubs1967

        the tweet: no quick turn around.  no short term fix.

        think next 10 years.  10 years to what?

        5 teams make the playoffs starting in 2012!

        maybe you are reading it one way (the better version). i’m reading it no quick turnaround so next year lahair at 1st, .156 stewart at 3rd, hip-hop sori in LF and Z plus Wells in the rotation.  bascially the same team. more losses.

        cj wilson soon

        don’t we need pitching; all of the above got moved. hmmmmmm………..Wakefield–that’s the answer!

        45M bucks off the payroll

        we’ve spent 4.25M??

        just sayin………..

  • J Daniel

    It is amazing that nothing has been done yet. What is going on? Are they in on Al or PF? Or waiting for those to fall for trades to fall into place?

  • Anthony

    Lots of frustration in this thread, and I understand it, but even an all-star team is no guarantee of capturing a trophy, nor will that trophy have a meaningful profund change in your lives.

    Baseball, at lower levels, is a game.

    Baseball, at the highest level, is a business.

    Everyone involved in the receiving end only cares about money, i.e owners, hired suits, and players who were lucky enough to have all their tumblers click into place.

    Many of you are too young to remember what the game was like, especially before the free agency, and afterwards, the creation of the internet.

    29 teams lose their last game every season. If you slow down and accept a goal of entertaining baseball at a fair ducat price, then anything after is a bonus, and also a crapshoot. The best and most talented team is not always the last team standing.

    Every Cub player I see bashed on this and other sites is proof of the frustration, but every other team has players you would bash if they were Cubs.

    • Calebsdaddie

      I could not say it any better. Thank you proving that everyone around here isnt having a chicken little moment…

  • Dorasaga

    Mark Buerhle signed, 4 years 58M. Incredible. Is this the real Marlins? Or a one-year wonder? I don’t see the Cubs need to sign anyone right now. Figure out what’s the true influence from Wrigley Field. It’s not curse or the wrath of Ron Santo until last Sunday, but seasonal wind and the corners that might add or remove power from corner bats.

    • Calebsdaddie

      I heard the marlins have to spend money as agreed upon with the city when they helped pay for the new stadium.

  • jtrain23

    The LaHair debate is very interesting to me.  He obviously can hit based on his incredible year last year.  He is a bit old for a “prospect”, but if he can produce anywhere near his minor league numbers, you have a cheap, in house, middle of the line up guy.  But the uncertainty draws you away from him.  It would be great to give him a chance without the team’s success hinging on his success.  Maybe work on his corner outfield skills and throw him out there.  If it is a fail, the Cubs don’t lose anything.  Plus, i couldn’t see him being too much of a drop over what they have defensively now.

  • John_CC

    The Tweet-O-sphere is completely insane. Grown men sitting around hammering their iPhones with every single half whisper they hear in passing. Completely ridiculous.

    • Dorasaga

      This is entertainment to reenact what regular folks used to do at the Roman Forum, just less than 2000 years ago.