I’m still smiling about yesterday’s walk-off win. If we don’t let ourselves ride wins like that as far as they’ll take us, it’s going to be a miserable three months.

  • Bruce Levine writes about the possibility of trading Aramis Ramirez, who is as hot as anyone right now. A few bullets below the bullet:
  • (1) Levine says Ramirez may be more likely to accept a trade in August, after his family has returned to the Dominican Republic (kids go back to school);

    (2) Levine suggests – contrary to what everyone else has been saying – that Ramirez’s 2012 option does not become guaranteed if Ramirez is traded (we’ve got to get that figured out, because the possibility of trading him becomes immeasurably greater if that’s true); and

    (3) Levine clearly reads BN: my take on Hendry’s no-fire-sale comments, together with private comments I received from a scout in another organization, was that “no fire sale” didn’t preclude the fact that every player but Starlin Castro was still available. Levine’s statement a few hours later? “Hendry said Wednesday there will be no fire sale, but that doesn’t mean he won’t listen to offers for just about any player outside of Starlin Castro.” Levine is a smart man.

  • Carlos Zambrano had an MRI on his back yesterday after leaving the game in the second inning. The results aren’t in yet, but apparently he was already a little sore when he arrived at the ballpark. That makes me cautiously optimistic that the injury is not of the severe-back-spasms type (which he’s had before for a few weeks), and was more of a temporary soreness that he just couldn’t shake.
  • Tom Ricketts yesterday conceded that the Cubs’ record is as much a product of poor play as it is injuries. He wouldn’t discuss the Cubs’ trade deadline strategy, which, obviously.
  • Mike Quade suggests that recently-demoted DJ LeMahieu could be a starter on the Cubs in the very near future, and probably at third base. “There probably would be a debate among our people in the minor-league system about where he’s better,” Quade said of LeMahieu’s fielding at second and third. “I respect those people, and if they’re not sure, that means he’s probably pretty good at both. From what I’ve seen at second, I’ve been real happy, so if he’s equally adept at third, that’s a good thing, for sure.”
  • The Cubs have signed two-sport FSU star, OF Taiwan Easterling, the team’s 27th round pick in the draft this year. No word on his bonus yet, but he probably got a little something extra to leave a final year of college eligibility on the table.
  • Tip your beer vendors. It’s a tough job, and this year has been crappy.
  • MichiganGoat

    If ARam continues to rake AND his option isn’t guaranteed via trade, he should be very popular at the deadline, please don’t see a good couple of months as reason to extend his contract. Remember he is in a contract year and has been disappointing for the past three seasons, I have a hard time trusting any player that shines during a contract year but has years of disappointed before that year. He is not the future, he is blocking developing players, and I still question his desire, leadership, and hustle– a couple of weeks of clutch hitting and smiles don’t change my mind, but hopefully another club is sold he is the missing piece.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The option issue is huge. It could be the chasm difference between easy to trade and impossible to trade.

      • Michigan Goat

        Yeah I can’t see a team willing to pay for that option, if it does vest I think the only trade we cod make is a contract swap… And that’s just not worth it.

  • Pingback: Aramis Ramirez Might Be Traded After All and Other Bullets - CHI CITY SPORTS l #1 Chicago Sports Fan Message Board()

  • Corey

    I’d like to see Castro to 5, Barney to 6 and LeMahieu/Baker split at 4. Of course if Pena and Ramirez both leave, then all bets are off.

  • die hard

    Ramirez to Tampa Rays?

    • Jeff

      Why would Tampa want Ramirez? They have Longoria at third and Damon at DH. If anything, I think they would want Pena back. I had always thought ARam’s option vested automatically, but if not that’s a bit of good news.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      They are certainly looking for a bat, but Pena is probably the more likely candidate.

  • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

    Does that mean I’m a smart man too???

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Everyone who reads BN is smart.

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    Lol at Ace I think they should restructure ARams contract..can that be done? Also nice post on the youngster Taiwan Easterling getting signed..any more signings ace besides this one?
    Thanks, ramy 16

    • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

      Restructure his contract? Like, make it shorter?

      I like that idea.

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    How stupid would it be.. Yeah, let’s trade our most consistent hitter over the last 5 years. Maybe we can get a AA 32 year old middle relief prospect. I repeat the cubs have nobody at 3rd base once aram is traded defense or offensively ..however the Reds have a great prospect in Juan Francisco..I wonder if walt jocketty would pull this off

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    Twc..I just think aram wants to be a cub he’s said it numerous times..I think hendry should rework the contract..aramis is still fairly young and he’s been our most consistent hitter over the past 5 years every team knows that..to trade our best RBI guy is stupid!

    • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

      If by “past 5 years” you mean 2004-2008, then, yeah, I’d agree with you. But 2009 sucked, last year sucked until September, and this year he ain’t been so hot but for the last couple of weeks.

      You like him, I get it. You want the Cubs to keep him around, great. But you can’t look at his stats — you can’t watch him play — and not see a player in decline.

    • MichiganGoat

      Ramy16: Please visit http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/ramirar01.shtml and do a thorough review of his production after 2008. Specifically look at the advanced saber metrics like RAR/WAR and you will see a player that at best average and his dWAR shows him to be a liability on the field. Yes he is hot right now, but he hasn’t been “consistent” for three years, he’s barely been average. The stats say he would not be missed and we have Baker and DeWitt that have show promise not to mention developing minor leaguers that according to stats can replace ARam. Please give us a good statistical argument for keeping him around.

    • Joe

      I think diving for the ball and getting nailed in the face is a pretty good example of defensive decline. I will admit though, he has had some pretty good plays. I think we should get someone else, but I really would like to know who would be the replacement?

      • MichiganGoat

        There are no free agents worth signing, and that includes ARam. We should let the position be battled for during spring training, we might even be able to pick up a few positional player via trade that could factor in next year. Personally I see DeWitt stepping up and taking the position next year, he shown promise this year, is only 25, is considered a natural 3B, and has shown great maturity this year.

  • Roughriider

    I know there are a lot of fans who think Ramirez should go. From my perspective I’m not sure that would be the best for the Cubs. This year he is projected to have a better average, more doubles, less strikeouts and more at bats than last year. He was injured half of 2009 and part of 2010 and may just be getting back to what he was before. As a cleanup hitter he has had a less consistent hitter in the 3 hole both this year and last. He also is projected to have fewer errors, more assist and a better fielding average. If the Cubs aren’t playing well Ramirez appears to not try as hard. Human nature is such that people don’t try as hard when they don’t believe. And who could believe in the Cubs this year? I’m not saying don’t trade him. If they can get a highly regarded prospect in return that could be a Cub for the next 6-10 years do it. But that is unlikely to happen. Ramirez has been the best third baseman on the Cubs since Ron Santo and deserves some leeway. Lest we forget it took a long long time for the Cubs to fill the need at third base on a consistent basis.

    Has anyone else noticed that the Cubs are the only team to not sign any player drafted in the first 15 rounds this year? Toronto has signed one and Houston has signed 12.

    • MichiganGoat

      These projections are assuming he will stay as hot as he’s been the past few weeks, before he got hot he was projecting poorly, and I find it inexcusable for a player to loaf/suck because the team around him is poor. You are a professional, you make 14M, you better act/try to be the superstar your paid to be.

      • Roughriider

        Projections are really averages over a period of time. No one would say that if a player hits 2 homeruns in the first game of a season that he will hit 324 for the season. When a player has a bad month it doesn’t neccesarily indicate he will have a bad season. We should look over the body of work that is a career. I agree that a player makinging 14m should act/try to be the best player he can be and the team and fans should expect it. But, players are not robots and I doubt that the amount of money they make effects the way they play except negatively. I have no doubt that Ramirez wants to be perfect everytime he’s out on the field. But I also know that a player just like fans can get discouraged and frustrated.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m hoping it’s because the Cubs had loftier aspirations in their draft than the Astros, so it’s taking a bit more negotiation.

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    If Hendry is going to trade him he better get a 3rd base prospect in a hurry…Vitters isn’t ready…and Bakers defense isn’t there…you can move Dewitt to 3rd where his defense is good but his bat isnt..good luck on the Cubs with this one

    • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

      FWIW, Baker’s stats and Ramirez’ stats at 3B are almost exactly the same – they’re both below league average. That’s not judgement or opinion, just a fact.

      • EQ

        you mean defensive stats correct?

        • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC


  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    Thanks roughriider…at least someone agrees with me

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    Is javier baez going to sign?..I know shawon dunston jr is 50/50 chance of signing

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I haven’t seen any indication that the Cubs are afraid he won’t sign.

  • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

    It’s hard to imagine a team without Ramirez. We’ve certainly had some good years, some ups and downs. I like the guy.

    I imagine it’s probably another infamous Cub “If we keep him, we’ll wish we hadn’t, and if we don’t keep him, we’ll wish we had” deals.

    That’s what we rock at!

  • chris margetis

    Regardless of whether you like Aramis or not, his time with the Cubs has come and gone, much like D Lee last year. I was a huge D Lee fan, but it was just time to part ways. It’s worthless to have people who start like shit, and then get hot, because by the time they get hot, it’s too late. Plus, I don’t care if Aramis is giving 100% everytime he steps on the field (as he should), he never LOOKS like he is. And, my grandmother, rest her soul, could out run him. Think about it this way, we really shouldn’t want people who want to stay Cubs, usually comfort=complacent.

    • DarrellB

      “Think about it this way, we really shouldn’t want people who want to stay Cubs, usually comfort=complacent.”

      It would be ridiculous to seek out players who don’t want to stay in Chicago. Many players fully realize how great it would be to win with the Cubs. The notion that desire to stay in Chicago equals complacency is silly.

      Many of the players who want to stay in Chicago want to win very badly. Lilly was very clear that he was disappointed to be traded. I would never question his desire. I also don’t question the desire of Zambrano, Dempster, Wood or a lot of other players who want to stay in Chicago.

      • chris margetis

        You are mistaking my point. I am all for competitive guys wanting to be in Chicago. I’m tired of the guys who want to finish there career there, or guys like Aramis who are just comfy cause it’s a great place to play. As much as I liked DLee, I think he had grown comfortable in Chicago, had some success, and would have been happy to extend his deal and finish out. I’m glad it didn’t happen, and regardless of Aramis’ numbers this year (which have miraculously come about now that they are meaningless), I hope he moves on as well. So much so that I wouldn’t want him back if he was 1/3 of his current price.

  • awesome

    how can Quade give any opinion on how very little he used LeMahieu?

    are the Cubs planning to join the Arena League?

    • DarrellB

      He also see him daily as he prepares and practices at the MLB level. He also sees how he interacts with other players and responds to coaching and instruction. The game is the only part we see, but the manager and coaches see much more.

  • DarrellB

    According to Cot’s Baseball contracts…

    2012 option becomes guaranteed if Ramirez:
    wins one MVP in 2007-11, or
    places 2nd or 3rd in MVP vote twice in 2007-11, or
    wins LCS MVP once in 2007-11, or
    is an All Star 3 times in 2007-11, or
    is traded & Ramirez exercises 2011 option

    Ramirez exercised his 2011 contract, so if he now gets traded that clause kicks in and the 2012 contract is guaranteed.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      There have been reports in the media – most notably by Bruce Levine – that contradict that portion of the Cot’s listing. I’m not sure that anyone can say for certain how exactly the 2012 option is impacted by a trade other than Ramirez, his agent, and the Cubs.