Aramis Ramirez Leaning Toward Exercising Option

Aramis Ramirez is leaning toward exercising his $14.6MM player option for 2011, based on comments made to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times:

"I want to stay here, but I've still got two months.  I haven't talked to my agent about it. But everybody knows I want to stay here. I guess I'm staying here [in 2011].''

Heading into the season, I thought a typical Ramirez campaign might prompt him to decline the option and seek a multiyear guarantee.  The 2010 season has not been typical, however, as Ramirez has limped to a .230/.286/.438 line in 311 plate appearances.  His poor play was limited to the season's first two months, and he's got nine home runs in July.  If Ramirez does exercise his player option, Adrian Beltre will be the only big name free agent at the hot corner.

Ramirez's 2012 mutual option is a large factor.  That has a $2MM buyout attached if the Cubs decline, meaning Ramirez stands to earn either $16.6MM for one year or $30.6MM for two, depending on what the team does. 

56 Responses to Aramis Ramirez Leaning Toward Exercising Option Leave a Reply

  1. HerbertAnchovy 5 years ago

    His performance this year has certainely reduced his stock. I wouldn’t think he could get much on the FA market.

  2. Soxman17 5 years ago

    Another wonderful piece of responsible business by your Chicago Cubs. Funny how no one seemed to really care about all of these no-trade clauses, back-loaded contracts, and ridiculous options when these signings were made 3-4 years ago.

    • Revisionist history doesn’t really work, you can’t just say something because you wish it were true. A lot of people, including most Cub fans cared about those things when they were handed out. We didn’t like them then and still don’t now. Sorry to rain on your inferiority complex parade, Soxman17.

      • bjsguess 5 years ago

        I hate to defend the Cubs but …

        The economy tanked – to an extend that nobody foresaw. This was one of many factors that caused contracts to become stagnant. Given standard salary inflation, Ramirez’s contract looked to be a pretty safe bet when it was signed.

        You can quibble about NTC’s all you want. The fact is that the Angels were waiting with open arms to get A-Ram. The NTC is what sealed the deal for the Cubbies (as I recall).

        Finally, if you believe in WAR then Fangraphs has Ramirez worth $56m since he signed his contract in 2007. He has been paid approximately $49m to date. Given his injuries last year and horrid play this year, the Cubs are still ahead on this deal. Of course, that might change by next year but this still wasn’t’ a horrible deal for Chicago.

      • Soxman17 5 years ago

        “Inferiority complex parade”? I’ve been to a World Series parade, but I’m unaware of what this “inferiority complex parade” is. Please explain.

    • ophaq2 5 years ago

      Says a Sox fan with a Peavy contract. Good job buddy! Inferiority complex is spot on!

      • firealyellon 5 years ago

        the good thing about complexes, is that they tend not to be true.

      • Soxman17 5 years ago

        Peavy is injured. He’s not a dog who plays when he wants to. Very different situations. And not to split hairs, but I don’t believe it was the White Sox who offered Peavy that contract. They’re paying it now, and injuries are an unfortunate part of the game, but I do not begrudge Kenny Williams for making that move.

        • baseball52 5 years ago

          Peavy had awful mechanics his whole career, it’s your fault for taking it. Don’t act like just because they’re the Sox they’re immune to criticism.

  3. As a Cub fan I did care about those stupid contracts. I’m under no illusion that we are going to be good/better whether he picks this up or not. At this point all I’m looking for is improvement from the young guys until the Hendry era officially ends (which would be at the end of Soriano’s time in Chicago).

    I hope he does well the rest of the year and opts out of this contract. If he were to do that, and Ricketts were to do the right thing and replace Hendry with someone that knew how to operate a team instead of just spend, I would consider that a solid offseason already. The Cubs are going to be in this rebuilding mode for awhile, and our offseasons should be less about being better next year than finding ways to gradually improve and get younger (and cheaper) moving forward while building a quality product.

    • Soxman17 5 years ago

      I would agree with just about everything you had to say here. However, the reality is that the Cubs will never bit the bullet and “rebuild”. They can’t. It sounds silly, but the majority of the Cubs’ fan base would never go for it. I know a lot of posters are saying they would now, but this market would never go for it. The GM on the other side of town knows it, too, and has said as much. That’s one of the reasons why he is forced to be shrewd with his trades and signings, and often do things that are construed as unpopular. That’s business.

      • mmontice 5 years ago

        Soxman–They are rebuilding as we speak. Ricketts has already publicly stated that the Cubs will focus on building long term winners through the draft, player development and smart FA signings. Also, it is looking more and more that the Cubs payroll is going to be reduced, so the era of frivilous spending is pretty much dead.

      • Hmm, let me see if I’m following you here. The GM on the other side of town doesn’t want to do something that’s unpopular, so he has to do things that are unpopular in order to not do things that are unpopular. Is that what you’re saying? Man, Sox fans are tough, demanding their GM make all those shrewd decisions that are “construed” as unpopular so he won’t do things that really are unpopular. Good thing no other franchise holds their GM accountable, there would be a heck of a lot of unpopular stuff going on in every city, good thing only Sox fans are intelligent enough to know what their GM is doing.

        Sorry, not trying to be a wanker, I just don’t care for holier than thou comments just because one team is doing better than another. Baseball is humbling, mistakes get made by everyone. The Cubs will be back at some point and the Sox won’t, it has a way of sorting itself out.

  4. As Aramis goes, so go the Cubs. So I will be very happy if he is with the Cubs again next year. As the team gets younger, it will be good to have some veteran presence there. There is also no one knocking on the door in the minor league system to play 3rd base. Josh Vitters is still at least 2 years away (if he gets there).

    • baseball52 5 years ago

      Vitters broke his hand so yea now 2 years is pretty reasonable.

  5. aap212 5 years ago

    When Ramirez signed this deal, I worried that he would be a first baseman by the end of it, and it would be problematic to have both him and Lee locked up expensively. It didn’t dawn on me that they’d both be lousy.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Ramirez has been terrific for the past 2 weeks… so I wouldn’t worry about him…

      • aap212 5 years ago

        Two weeks should make me stop worrying? Maybe when his OBP creeps over .300.

        • I dont think Aram can recover this season in BA, but if he comes back to have 25/90, i think that will would be a very good 2nd half. And remember that wrist/hand injuries take much longer to fully recover. I hope he returns next season, fully healthy from the start. I think he’s has a couple big years still left in him.

  6. iRipper89 5 years ago

    Seeing how poor the FA market is for 3b this offseason he would prob make out pretty well if he opted out. not as good as the money he will be making if he picks up his option but still pretty good.

    i think this is a sneak peek of what some of those insane yankee contracts will end up lookling like.

    • scottandwtb 5 years ago

      +1 for the Yankee part. Jeter & A-Rod in their 40’s on that side of the infield. That will be funny.

  7. firealyellon 5 years ago

    so let’s see, the Cubs will still be overpaying production at LF, RF, 3B, 1B (unfortunately, he’ll likely retire a Cub), Zambrano, Silva, Samardzija, Grabow, Dempster and presumably for another ‘big name’ manager. what a wreck of a franchise…

    • Castro, Marmol, Colvin, Wells, Soto, Gorzelanny, Cashner…. Vitters, Jackson, Hak-Ju Lee, Carpenter…. That’s a lot of young, cheap talent for a “wreck” of a franchise to have, isn’t it?

      • BDLugz 5 years ago

        And let’s not forget about the other wrecks like Chris Archer, Trey McNutt, and the other Jackson (Jay and Brett). We’ve got some incredible pitching depth in the minors and even better depth up the middle.

      • firealyellon 5 years ago

        the first group is nice and all, but not the core of a team still in win-now mode. the latter group is a bunch of unscratched lottery tickets. any team with $100M already committed in 2011 with that many holes and that many years of losing is an abject failure.

        • mmontice 5 years ago

          The win now era is over.

          • firealyellon 5 years ago

            if they hire Ryno, rebuilding might be in the cards. if it’s Girardi, it’s gonna be full steam ahead (read: more money will be thrown at this mess to fill holes next year).

          • mmontice 5 years ago

            I really hope any manager that is brought on will be told that the 2011 and perhaps 2012 Cubs are going to have to go through some growing pains. Aka, don’t expect another frenzy of high-priced free agent signings to mortgage the future yet again.

          • firealyellon 5 years ago

            well thats ultimately the rub: the Rickett’s have yet to develop a long-term philosophy. So far it can be distilled to: Hendry good, trough urinals bad.

      • Soxman17 5 years ago

        Patterson, Pie, Orie, Scott, Choi, etc., etc….. And 102 years and counting. Yes, it is actually the DEFINITION of a wreck of a franchise, come to think of it.

    • BDLugz 5 years ago

      I like how you automatically assume they’ll overpay for Lee (who I doubt is back next year regardless), and a manager they havent even hired yet. Also, Dempster isn’t overpaid, he’s actually far outplayed his contract so far, as has Silva, who we are only paying about 6M for this year since Seattle picked up the tab.

      Ramirez may be slightly overpaid, but if he bounces back at all, he’ll be worth his salary, it’s not a discount as it was when he originally signed, but it’ll be a fair deal.

      As for Zambrano, Soriano, Fukudome and Grabow, no arguement there. Samardzija is overpaid, obviously, but 2M isnt what’s hurting the Cubs.

      • firealyellon 5 years ago

        betting on Ramirez’s return is foolhardy given his age and diminished defense (largely in part due to his injury). please tell me where Lee will approve a trade to? my guess: nowhere. fair enough on Dempster, but Hendry obviously paid way over market at the time. looks like we agree in most players though. oh, and i never said Samardzija has ‘the reason the cubs are hurting’, merely another symptom of this club’s disease.

        • BDLugz 5 years ago

          They don’t need to trade Lee anywhere, his contract is up after this year. Ramirez is also batting like his old self since the break, hitting over .350 with nine home runs in July. There is no reason to think he wont at least hit his career averages in the second half.

          • firealyellon 5 years ago

            All I’m saying is Ramirez has seen his best days and it will be difficult for him to live up to the remainder of his contract (not really a controversial statement). I understand Lee’s contract is up, but I believe the Cubs will give him another longish contract so he can retire a Cub- it’s not like there’s a 1B in the minors they’re itching to promote…

          • BDLugz 5 years ago

            Understood there isn’t another 1B prospect in our system, but that doesn’t mean that the answer would be Lee. It’s not like he’s been with the Cubs his entire career anyway, he came over in 2004. Even if he does sign a new deal, they wouldn’t do more than 1 year, as 2011 as a huge crop of great 1B and not a huge demand.

            Also, Ramirez may not put up career numbers next year, but there’s no reason to think he can’t hit .280/.340/.500 to finish up his career, which would still be respectable numbers.

          • firealyellon 5 years ago

            1) Agreed, Lee is definitely not the answer. That’s why I think Hendry wants to give him lots of cash.

            2) That line is reasonable, just not worth $14.6M on the open market.

          • BDLugz 5 years ago

            Which is the double edged sword – if he were worth 14.6 on the open market he would opt out. He isn’t, so he’ll be back. I’m not saying I’m exactly giddy at the chance to bring him back for 14.6M, however, if he can get close to his career averages with the Cubs, the contract won’t be an issue.

            The only other good to come out of that contract is that next year he will almost certainly be playing for his last long term deal, so hopefully he works extremely hard and comes out ready to play.

    • Also, what is the deal with your name? Honestly, Al runs the best Cubs blog out there by far.

      • firealyellon 5 years ago

        i’m sure Al appreciates that

      • baseball52 5 years ago

        Al sucks. I told him time and again that Zambrano is nothing better than a #2 starter and his temper would be the end of him, but apparently I’m dumb.

  8. scottandwtb 5 years ago

    “I don’t know if I want to stay here. I guess I want to stay here. I’m staying here.”

  9. If Ramirez can get close to being the 5 WAR player he was in 2007 and 2008, picking up his option would be good news for the Cubs. Considering he’s just 32 and seems to be fully recovered from the thumb injury that held him back in April and May (11 home runs since June 5) there is a good chance for him to be one of the few high-priced Cubs who *isn’t* overpaid.

  10. rpriske 5 years ago

    I like Aramis but this announcement is pretty much a no brainer. He would be lucky to get 10mil as a FA so this is a sweet deal for him.

  11. bobbybaseball 5 years ago

    No-brainer of a decision for Ramirez. Even if he were putting up good numbers this season, he’s too injury prone to demand a long-term, expensive contract.

  12. mmontice 5 years ago

    “I guess I’m staying here [in 2011].”

    Don’t sound so excited. Just a microcosm of the guy, which is that it is difficult to really get him to get passionate about anything given his overall laziness and indifference.

  13. catgenius 5 years ago

    I said shortly after he arrived that they will never win anything with him. His offensive numbers are relatively inconsequential, he’s not great defensively and I’ve never liked his attitude; I don’t think he particularly hustles. But the Cubs probably think he puts people in the seats.

    • BDLugz 5 years ago

      “His offensive numbers are relatively inconsequential.” That may be the dumbest comment I’ve ever heard about Ramirez. He may not be the strongest defender at 3B, however since he’s come to the Cubs, outside of 2010, his WORST season OPS+ was 126 – his worst. To say that an OPS+ of at least 126 is inconsequential is flat out boneheaded.

      • catgenius 5 years ago

        One word: clutch. Like most Cubs, he isn’t. Sure his offensive numbers are good, but their efficiency in helping the team win is low. Sammy put up good numbers too, but mostly in a solo role. You can go all the way back to Santo for the same situation. And his mission to hit 3-mile home runs when the Cubs just need a hit is what annoys me about him. But that’s how guys like him get the big contract, numbers.

        • Jntg4 5 years ago

          He actually has hit well in the clutch before this season IMO, especially in 2008.

        • BDLugz 5 years ago

          Dude hit .425 last year with RISP. He also hit .310 with a 1.028 OPS with RISP in 2008. Don’t let the facts get in your way. If anyone on this team has been clutch, it’s Ramirez.

        • BDLugz 5 years ago

          Also, just to go back further:

          2006 RISP: .293/.378/.611/.989
          2006 RISP 2 Outs: .242/.367/.574/.943
          2007 RISP: .338/.428/.676/1.104
          2007 RISP 2 Outs: .300/.455/.567/1.021
          2008 RISP: .310/.402/.626/1.028
          2008 RISP 2 Outs: .283/.419/.450/.869

          Any other arguements as to how Ramirez simply isnt a “clutch” hitter?

  14. windycitywarrior 5 years ago

    I am a White Sox fan and for the most part hate the Cubs. But with that said I also would like to see them do well since it bears no consequence being the the NL and its nice to have that winning feeling in the city of Chicago. If Aramis Ramirez picks up his option and they go after Girardi to manage then I think they should move him to 1B and sign Adrian Beltre who will be a free agent. I think Ramirez’ defensive shortcomings will not show through as much at 1B than the hot corner. Letting Theriot walk via non tender is ridiculous. I would think a team like the Padres would give up at least an arm for him. Hell they got like four of them from the White Sox for Peavy last year. Just stick Fontenot and Baker at second for the rest of the year and deal with it in 2011. If they go with a rebuilding effort with Sandberg then I would leave him at third and either trade for a young 1B or sign a veteran like Carlos Pena or I suppose re sign D.Lee. I would think they could make a deal for Mark Reynolds and move him to first next year. They really need to move Fukodome’s contract and they need to trade Soriano to open up a spot in the outfield. Soriano+Fukodome+3/4 of each contract to the Red Sox for Jacoby Ellsbury. Boston is definitely in win now mode and they could use a slugger like Soriano to hit them over the Monster or against it and also provide an in house DH so they don’t have to re sign Big Poopy. Fukodome would provide excellent defense and a back up for Drew in case he got injured. Also can pinch run in spots in the play offs if they manage to squeak in there. They could trade Ted Lilly to just about any team that needs a SP for prospects. I believe they should give away Zambrano. I hate to say this but I think the White Sox would be a good fit if they figured the money out. Obviously Kenny and Jerry are not going to pay his full salary with guys like Peavy and Rios already being paid a lot. I think Ozzie and the no nonsense south side team can keep Z in check. Plus he wouldnt have to be counted on to be an ace. It seems like a match to me not because I necessarily want him but I think he might be a little productive with the White Sox.

  15. Wrek305 5 years ago

    The Cubs NEED to trade Ramirez and Lee NOW.. they can give whatever team they go to 86% of what Ramirez is owed which in reality is 15 mil too much

  16. Smileybush 5 years ago

    Why can’t Tommy Boy Hendry ever negotiate a contract where the TEAM has the leverage? All of his deals are so player friendly. It is bad enough that he targets the wrong players, but the contracts he gives out just kill the team – especially in the long-term.

    It doesn’t really matter who the next manager is, as long as Tommy Boy is calling the shots, the team will be a poorly assembled team of over-priced, one dimensional players that can’t run, play defense, or hit in the clutch.

  17. BDLugz 5 years ago

    Hopefully they will not be hamstrung for long. With Lee, Lilly and Nady off the books at around 30-32M next year and with Theriot a shoe in to be non tendered, we can hopefully have around 35M freed. From that, we can fill in 1B on the cheap and replace Lilly in house. The following year, Brett Jackson should be ready to come up as Fukudome’s 14M and Ramirez’s 15M falls off the books. Although we obviously aren’t in an ideal situation, the numbers falling off will actually meet up nicely with the time our prospects are ready to come up. We’ll have more money freed to work with, and can hopefully build a winning team around a strong young core.

    By 2012 the Cubs could hopefully have SS (Lee), 2B (Castro), CF (Jackson), C (Soto), RF (Colvin), 3B (Vitters), Pitching (Cashner, Jackson, Archer, Wells, McNutt, Carpenter, Marmol, etc), ready to come up and contribute on the cheap. That leaves LF to be stuck with Soriano, and 1B to fill externally. Obviously these guys wont all come up and perform, but even if half do (as Cashner, Castro, Colvin and Wells already have), that leaves a big market team a lot of money to play around with in the open market.

  18. baseball52 5 years ago

    I highly doubt they don’t make a big splash in FA. Cliff Lee anyone?

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