Trading third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who turns 33 in two weeks, was already going to be a near impossibility for the Chicago Cubs.

He’s in the final year of a contract that pays him $14.6 million this year (with a $2 million buyout owed after the season), and he’s got a $16 million option that kicks in for 2012 if he’s traded. Worse, his skills and interest in the game appear to be eroding rapidly. He’s battled leg issues this year, and he’s hitting just .288/.343/.394 with 2 homers and 21 RBI. You don’t need to look up his career numbers to know he’s having his worst year in a decade.

Now, there’s another hurdle: Ramirez plans to invoke his no-trade rights* in any deal that would send him out of town.

“He doesn’t even want to take a trade. He took less years and less money to stay in Chicago (in 2006), so that is definitely his first option,” Ramirez’s agent Paul Kinzer said today. “Aramis has a full no-trade clause, so he doesn’t want to go anywhere. He’s a 10-and-5 guy and I don’t think he’ll go anywhere. We will have to see when it comes to that.”

Kinzer also said that he hasn’t had any discussions with the Cubs about Ramirez’s future, which could be in doubt – not just with the Cubs, but baseball altogether. Ramirez has hinted at an early retirement here and there, but has never out-and-out said he’s going to hang them up. You do have to wonder about a guy who would reject a trade to a contender – which trade would also guarantee him a $16 million contract next year.

Obviously things can change as the season goes on – Derrek Lee told the Cubs he would not accept a trade last year, and even rejected a deal to the Angels, before ultimately accepting a trade to the Braves.

On the list of likely Cubs to go next month, Ramirez is probably somewhere near the middle – below the obvious suspects (Fukudome, Byrd, Zambrano; even possibly Dempster and Wood), but above the younger crew (Castro, Soto, Marmol, Marshall, Garza, Barney, etc.). Whatever happens, Ramirez is not expected back with the Cubs in 2012 – though who will replace him remains something of a mystery.


*Note that, although Ramirez’s original contract – through 2010 – gave him a no-trade clause, the no-trade rights for 2011 come by virtue of his status as a 10/5 player. Can’t blame Jim Hendry for this one.

  • Michigan Goat

    I dont understand why he wouldn’t want to be traded. He’s leaving 16M because he wants to be a Cub? I am starting to think that he plans to retire at the end of the year. It would explain his apathy and lack of playing like he’s in a contract year. Only a person who is done with his career would leave 16m on the table.

    • Ace

      I meant to make that point in the post. Going to update. Good point.

  • Jelly

    Honestly, I fully believe this plays into his not being interested in playing baseball any longer. If he accepted a trade to a contender, then he would be more pressed to produce, and be under more scrutiny, whereas this year, he can just finish the season under the radar, being lazy, and then see where he can go next year, probably somewhere even further under the radar.

    • Jelly

      Or as MG states above me, retire.

    • Michigan Goat

      The way he is playing right now he’d be lucky to get 1.5M next year, and his refusal to get 16M just screams that this is his last year. But the Cubs would be even crazier if we trade him and give salary relief for more than 2M ( what we have to pay him anyway). However if Hendrys still in charge who knows what will happen… Since ARam is his golden apple of his trading ability.

  • Jeff

    Like the article says, if he gets traded his option for next year automatically vests. I know he probably won’t get 16 million on the open market, but it would limit him to playing for whoever he gets traded to. I can understand his wanting to control where he plays more than how much money he is going to make. Hopefully this is just so he gets to pick where he ends up.

    • Ace

      But he can control that right now via his no-trade rights (which might well be what this is all about).

  • auggie1955

    Ramirez’s numbers have been on decline the past 2 seasons. Add to that his defense was never that great. Finally throw in that he was never one to hustle, so no team was going to trade for him and pick up next year’s option anyway.

    At a time like this you have to smile and look at the bright side – only a little more than 3 months to have to watch this lazy bum.

    • hardtop

      man you guys are tough on old ramis! ive always liked aramis. given, his play does not constitute the money he’s being paid, but .288 isnt terrible… if he were the power hitter he was supposed to be. obvioulsy the epedemic of not hitting with RISP isn’t limited to Aramis, but he sure sucks at it, and that’s the main complaint for him at this point. 2 home runs? 21 rbi? what causes that kind of decline? age doesnt seem to be enough to explain it. anyway, he’s definately not going to be with the cubs next year nor is his contribution this year acceptable, but i dont think of him as bum and more often than not he was one of the more solid players on the team over the time he’s been here. Im not sorry to see him go but I respect what hes done for the team in the previous decade. because this year is a bust, im not terribly upset he’ll remain with the cubs: as i dont think hendry would have gotten anything worth getting for him in a trade situation anyway. hedry sucks more than aramis does.

      • miggy80

        Exactly how I feel Hardtop and the exact moment when his decline started was when he dislocated his shoulder diving for that ball down the line.

        • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

          Man, I still get the shudders thinking of that play. You could tell right away that he was gonna be out for a while. I remember covering my son’s eyes during the replays it was so gross…

          • Ace

            It was his second dislocation of that shoulder, too.

        • Ol’CharlieBrown

          You said it, miggy80. Aramis was never the same after that…

  • 1060Ivy

    So you’re telling me that my Aramis jersey is safe?

    Unfortunately, Aramis’ plummeting production has followed the decline of the Cubs.

    • Ace

      If it weren’t for the number, that Ramirez jersey would be gold – plenty of good Ramirez’s in baseball and one of them will probably be a Cub some day. I should get a blank-numbered Cubs jersey that just says “Carlos.”

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    The 4th paragraph is very interesting. Note what his agent said. “first option”. “I don’t think he’ll go anywhere”. “We will have to see when it comes to that”. If a trade happens, it’ll all be about the money.

    • Ace

      That does appear to be carefully phrased.

  • KB

    The Cubs should bench him.

    I say that as a longtime Aramis fan. But he’s absolutely useless to the Cubs now. And his mind-blowing apathy has got to be infecting the clubhouse…he is, after all, a team leader.

  • Serio

    What a baby. It say’s a lot about a person who doesn’t want to win. Was i wrong about LeBron?

  • Deez

    “Ramirez has hinted at an early retirement here and there, but has never out-and-out said he’s going to hang them up.”

    Guess you guess have been watching the White Soxs! Ramirez hung it up in 2009. I don’t say this out of hate just after watching his lethargic performance & lackadaisical efforts for the last 2 seasons. If he doesn’t agree to a trade, BENCH HIM & make him a Pinch hitter!

  • KB

    Since he obviously doesn’t care about money (there are actually a lot of examples why I say this), benching him might actually force his hand. He might retire mid-season, saving the Cubs $8 million clams. And since they drafted a lot of “tough-sign” prospects, that 8 mil would come in mighty handy.

  • KB

    See, you gotta think outside the box. heh heh.

    • Ace

      WAY outside the box.

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    You guys crack me up, there’s nobody to take his place..fa market nothing…he knows that! And the cubs know that!..basically Ramirez has the cubs by the balls

    • Raymond Robert Koenig

      Ramirez will be gone.

  • Deez

    “..basically Ramirez has the cubs by the balls”

    The only way someone has you by the balls is if you let them grab them. When a 21yr old SS has a higher SLG% & more RBIs than your supposedly best run producer, it’s time! Quade needs to start pushing him down the lineup then subbing in defensive substitutions.I didn’t like the Quade hiring initially but I am a Cubs fan 1st & foremost so I gave him a wait & see approach, but everyday it’s looking more & more like a disaster. Quade has to go & so does Hendry for making this move!

    Since Hendry has been there, our System has not develop substantial major league talent! If we can’t build from w/in how can we expect to compete?

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    Deez I agree..I totally hate the fat fuck hendry..he’s messed this ball club up for a long time!..I would like to see Omar minaya took over the gm spot..ricketts better do something..theres alot of pissed of cub fans..I was born and raised in chicago..now live in socal and have to hear it from these dumb dodger fans yuk!..my dad tells me daily he’s waiting for a cub fan to go over the edge!

    • Michigan Goat

      Are you f-ing joking, please tell me your joking. Omar as our GM! He did such a great job in NY signing free agents and making trades, the Mets are SO much better because of his tenure with them. Please, please fire Hendry and then sign Omar the Great. Because when you GM sucks go and sign the one GM that may have done a worse job than Hendry. I can understand your love of ARam (I’m guessing his your favorite player and your in denial), but Omar as GM, seriously tell me your joking. ***this post is exactly why HTML needs a sarcasm tag***

    • Jeff

      So you want to fire a guy who has run a top 5 market team into the ground and replace him with a guy who did the exact same to the Mets? Minaya was just as terrible a GM as Hendry is now. I would like to see Josh Byrnes hired, or even better hire John Schuerholtz as team president and bring in John Coppolella as the gm. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Ben Cherrington from Boston, or Al Avila from Detroit get a shot at running the team. Anyone but Hendry, Minaya, or someone with a similar track record.

  • 1060Ivy

    ESPN Rumors brought up that DLee initially balked at being traded last year with similar statement but Lee still ended up being traded to the Braves.

    • Ace

      You know that’s in the post, right…?

  • Deez


    I lot of the problems were caused by the Tribune Co prior to the sale. They were doing everything to “sell this team up!”
    Hendry was given his orders & pressed on, but now looking at Player development w/in our organization & the Quade hire, it seems like all the dominoes have fallen on his heat.


    Heavens NO!

    Also, start talking about how the Lakers blew it! That should help you in SoCal.

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