Free Agent Stock Watch: Aramis Ramirez

Aramis Ramirez's free agency seemingly came at a great time.  2011 was his healthiest season since '08, and he bounced back offensively to win the National League's Silver Slugger award at third base.  Also to his benefit: he's the only free agent third baseman likely to be viewed as a starter at the position.

The occasional trip to the disabled list had never affected Ramirez on the field until perhaps 2010.  That year he dealt with a sore triceps, bruised thumb, and a quad injury.  A .303 hitter over the previous six seasons, Ramirez slipped to .241 last year.  That might have been injury-related, a fluke, or a little of both, but Ramirez preferred a $14.6MM salary for 2011 over free agency.  He probably could have gotten a multiyear deal at a reduced salary.

New Cubs management would have been content with Ramirez on a one-year, $16MM deal, as they exercised their side of a mutual option in late October.  Or, perhaps Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were certain Ramirez would decline his end, and exercised theirs to avoid paying the $2MM buyout.  At any rate, the longtime Cub will be with a new team in 2012.  

Ramirez is a middle-of-the-order bat in a market bereft of third basemen, yet at least three teams with openings have little interest.  The Marlins and Rockies are unlikely to participate in the bidding, with the Rockies reportedly balking at the number of years Ramirez seeks.  The Marlins would seemingly prefer to commit six years to Jose Reyes and move Hanley Ramirez to third base for three years than pursue Ramirez.  Angels GM Jerry Dipoto said outright he's not interested in Ramirez.

Ramirez is 33 years old, and his agent Paul Kinzer seeks four guaranteed years or three with an option.  Perhaps that early demand has scared off the Marlins, Rockies, and Angels, but Kinzer says he has at least two teams with strong interest.

Ramirez doesn't seem a great fit for the Orioles, who have options at the infield corners and aren't close to contending.  Several other teams with clearer third base openings are not close to contending either.  The Red Sox or Yankees probably aren't ready to use Kevin Youkilis and Alex Rodriguez full-time at DH, so they're unlikely.  The Phillies still have Placido Polanco under contract for one more year and just added Ty Wigginton.  The Diamondbacks only make sense if they consider Ramirez an upgrade over the much cheaper Ryan Roberts.  The Tigers, Twins, and Brewers could work for Ramirez, if they have the money.  I can picture three years and as much as $42MM for Ramirez, but at this point it's unclear which team would be eager to make that commitment.  

20 Responses to Free Agent Stock Watch: Aramis Ramirez Leave a Reply

  1. If the Marlins miss out on Reyes, Ramirez would fill a slot in the lineup well.  However, that just might be the laziest left side of the infield in MLB.

    • cubs223425 4 years ago

      Ramirez isn’t lazy, just bad, haha. They’ll probably elect to keep the spot open for Dominguez to get a real shot at it in 2012, maybe playing Bonifacio there.

      Plus, they have Pujols, Fielder, and Wilson to low-ball after Reyes.

  2. I would rather have Aramis play DH than Ortiz. He is much more versatile, and can keep Gonzo and Youk fresh by giving them days off, while keeping them in the lineup. Aramis can still play 3B but i don’t think he can hold up for an entire season at the position. And correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe he can play a little 1B.

    • cubs223425 4 years ago

      Yes and no. Ramirez is a bad fielder, but a few games here and there might not be so bad. He would not likely give Gonzalez a direct day off; my guess would be Youk would play 1B and Ramirez would stay at third, since Youk knows the position well and Ramirez does not. I do not recall any time Ramirez has played first in his career.

      Fact-checked that. Ramirez has played all 1641 of his MLB games at 3B, and he has played 413 of 414 minor league games at third as well, with one coming at short when he was 20. He does not know the position, but he could handle it if he had to. Still, I think they would just slide Youk across.

  3. GoFish 4 years ago

    Reyes will sign with the Fish.  Hanley will be a little b, they’ll trade him, and A-Ram will sign with Miami to play 3B.

  4. acr123 4 years ago

    The main thing I remember about ARam in 2011 were the 2 HR through June 7th.  In that regard he was finally able to round out to be a 5 tool player: clubhouse malcontent, poor defense, injury prone, expensive and slow start. 

    • Hahahaha! You know that round table of 5 tool players that you speak of keeps getting bigger and bigger with every season!

    • cubs223425 4 years ago

      His OPS+ during those first two months was still above-average, though. He also managed to rip 17 homers between June and July, and his average was over .280 every month but July, when he hit 9 HR to make up for it.

      Just because he didn’t mash homers doesn’t mean he wasn’t playing well at all.

      • acr123 4 years ago

        OPS+ for a corner infielder or MLB average?  Two HR’s for a corner infielder through the first 1/3 of the season is pretty lousy.  Especially when ARam has never been known as  even a league average fielder.  Let’s not forget that he finished up the season by hitting 2 HR in September.  So ARam fulfilled 1/2 of the 2011 by hitting a whopping 4 HR’s. 

        Another thing not to overlook are the 2010 months of April and May where he put up lines of .152/.216/.283 and .173/.241/.253. 

  5. Ramirez is 33 years old, and his agent Paul Kinzer seeks four guaranteed years or three with an option. <<< This is more of the reason as to why I can't see the Orioles signing Ramirez. Plus, the fact that he doesn't always seem motivated or injured half the time. Also, he won the silver slugger award in 2011?? I knew that a lot of third baseman in the NL were injured and not as productive as normal, but no so much so that Ramirez was the SS winner. He has never really impressed me. Lastly, a 3 yr 42 million dollar deal, it's amazing to me as bad as the economy is that owners of teams are willing to pay such exorbitant rates of pay for players. If I were the Orioles, I would try to trade Adam Jones for Hanley Ramirez or try to obtain David Wright. However, that might be a huge pipe dream! Still, I can wish.

    • cubs223425 4 years ago

      You know, Ramirez DID have the second-highest OPS+ of his career in 2011. It helped he had his competition shelved from injury, but he also hit pretty well.

    • johnsilver 4 years ago

      Agree 100% Whoever gives Ramirez anything over 3 years (and it will happen) will end up being the 2nd worst contract of this off season, behind whoever gives Fielder the contract of over 5 seasons.

  6. I’d love to see him back in Pitt with Alvarez sliding to 1B

  7. Rick Springer 4 years ago

    Might be a bit of poetic justice if he doesn’t garner any interest on the market and comes crawling back asking if he can have that 1yr/16 mil again.

  8. the phillies should pick him up on a 3 year 36 mil. contract with an option for the 4th year… trade away polanco because we need another bat…

    • Aramis would fit in perfectly with what the Phillies are doing. He’s good for another 2-3 years, as is the Phillies window of opportunity. He’d mash in that lineup and that ballpark, and the Phillies could get something halfway decent for Polanco’s expiring contract. They should settle around 3yr/$39mm, with an option and $2mm buyout.

  9. I could see A-Ram playing for the Red Sox, Tigers, or Angels


    1B- Gonzalez
    3B- Youk
    DH- Ramirez


    1B- Cabrera
    3B- Ramirez
    DH- Martinez


    1B- Trumbo
    3B- Ramirez
    DH- Morales

    Also, Ramirez is still a decent fielder. He should of won a GG a few times but was snubbed.

  10. citizen 4 years ago

    Ramirez was injured in 09 (separated shoulder) and it severely limited  his playing ability. It took him about a season to come back from that.
    His fielding has not been great with limited range and a .954 over last season, ranking the 3b tied for 4th for errors committed.  Maybe he continues to hit for a couple of years.

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