Updated – 10:00pm C.T. – Aramis Ramirez has declined the Cubs offer and will test the market
Updated – 11:51pm C.T. – With a Report from the Chicago Tribune about Ramirez
According to a report just under a half an hour ago by Ken Rosenthal on Fox Sports.com, Aramis Ramirez has rejected the Cubs offer and will test the free agent market.
Update – According to Rosenthal’s report the Cubs could have avoided the opt out clause in the contract Ramirez signed in 2005. It would have cost the Cubs an additional $10 million dollars on top of the $42 million dollar contract he signed. According to Rosenthal the options for the Cubs at 3rd base in 2007 are Aubrey Huff, Mark DeRosa, Pedro Feliz, Aaron Boone and David Bell. Rosenthal did not mention the possibility of Nomar Garciaparra returning to Chicago. The Cubs will have an additional $22 million dollars on the books for the next 2 seasons with Ramirez apparently heading west to either the Dodgers or the Angels.
Ramirez deciding to test the free agent market should come to no surprise, if he was not planning that from the beginning he would have not opted out of his contract. The Cubs said they were planning on renegotiating his deal and if that is the case and Ramirez still opted out then he did not plan on staying in Chicago.
Jim Hendry has backed himself into a corner. He has to make a HUGE splash now, just not a big one. He is not sending the right message to the Faithful, whether you wanted Ramirez back or not, the Cubs not resigning him is not the message this organization needs to be sending out right now. Although the Cubs are for sale….they must be buyers at this point, open up the checkbook and instill some faith that the organization is taking steps forward….not backwards as it appears.
There have not been any updates on either Kerry Wood or Juan Pierre as of 10:20pm C.T. This article will be updated after the free agent period begins in just under an hour.
Update – 11:51pm C.T. – According to a report by Paul Sullivan in the Chicago Tribune, the Angels are expected to offer Ramirez a contract as early as Sunday. The Cubs were thought to have offered Ramirez a 5-year, $70 million dollar deal. The Cubs still think Ramirez wants to return but remember this is the same agent, Paul Kinzer, as Rafael Furcal. Sullivan reminded everyone of the remark that Hendry made last year at the Convention about the deal that Furcal signed….Hendry called the deal (for Furcal) absurd.
Many think that Juan Pierre will not return and there is nothing new to report on his status….but without too much speculation, his days as a Cub appear to be over. And then there is Kerry Wood, nothing new on that front….either. The rumor mill is sure to be in full swing in just a couple of hours.
Let’s hope Hendry is working the phones, email and faxes tonight.