Aramis Ramirez Trade Rumors Sprouting Up Like Weeds – Yankees, Angels Among Suitors

It was inevitable that trade rumors about Chicago Cubs’ third baseman Aramis Ramirez would pop up. Heck, we’ve been talking about them since May and June.

And, as the Cubs fell hopelessly out of contention around the same time that Ramirez erupted with one of the finest months of hitting in his career, those rumors got louder. And louder. At this point, if hold a seashell up to your ear, I’m pretty sure you can hear the ocean softly chanting, “but what about Ramirez’s 2012 option?”

The New York Yankees have been a prime destination for Aramis Ramirez for a few weeks now. A source told me last week to “watch Alex Rodriguez closely,” because, if he elects to have surgery on his knee, the Yankees will work hard on landing Ramirez. Well, Rodriguez decided yesterday to have the surgery.

The Yankees, of course, were reportedly interested in Ramirez before Rodriguez went under the knife, so the relatively short timetable on Rodriguez’s return – four to six weeks – may not serve as much of a deterrent to their efforts to acquire someone like Ramirez, who could DH after Rodriguez returns.

But the Yankees aren’t the only team interested in Ramirez.

Nick Cafardo writes that a number of other teams are interested in Ramirez as well, including the Mariners, Giants, Braves, and Diamondbacks, though he admits that Ramirez would be a questionable fit on some of them (where exactly would Ramirez play on the Giants? And, on the Braves, what about when Chipper Jones returns?)

But Cafardo says the “hottest interest” is coming from the Angels, who have had some level of interest in Ramirez in years past.

There remain two primary, and significant, hurdles to a Ramirez trade. The first, and most prominent, is Ramirez’s right to veto any trade. Something he has said – repeatedly – that he would do. He even said it again this weekend for good measure:

“You can look at what I said last month and write the same thing. Nothing’s changed,” Ramirez said. “I’m not going anywhere.”

The steadfastness of Ramirez’s assertion not withstanding, one source tells me that Ramirez would consider waiving his no-trade rights, at least with respect to the Yankees. Derrek Lee repeatedly said he wouldn’t accept a trade – and then he did.

Indeed, it’s possible that Ramirez’s assertions are a little bit of gamesmanship. I’ve now read in multiple places that Ramirez’s $16 million 2012 option does *not* automatically vest if he’s traded. If that’s true – and no one seems to know for sure – he’s certainly got an incentive to tell teams that he doesn’t want to accept a trade… unless they agree to pick up his option. Maybe that’s what happening here.

The second hurdle to trading Ramirez? The Cubs’ own needs. For good reason, the Cubs are unwilling to throw in the towel on the 2012 season, even if they’re willing to give up the ghost on 2011. And, with that in mind, who plays 3B for the Cubs in 2012 if not Ramirez? No, he’s not an ideal option – aging, expensive, ambivalent – but there’s neither a great option on the free agent market, nor a great option coming up the system. Josh Vitters isn’t ready (and might never be), DJ LeMahieu may never have the bat for 3B, and the same is true of Blake DeWitt.

That said, if Ramirez is willing to waive his no-trade rights, and the Cubs can find a deal that nets them a player or two who can contribute in 2012, they’ve got to pull the trigger, notwithstanding the impact it might have on 3B in 2012. It gives the team even more money to play with, and could infuse the kind of youthful talent and energy that’s been missing for almost a decade.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

65 responses to “Aramis Ramirez Trade Rumors Sprouting Up Like Weeds – Yankees, Angels Among Suitors”

  1. chris margetis

    If it means anything, there are no morsels in the LA Times regarding the Angels and interest.

  2. auggie1955

    I’m beginning to have mixed emotions on Ramirez. At first, when he wasn’t hitting, I didn’t want to see him with the Cubs next year. Now that he’s producing like he normally does I wouldn’t mind seeing the Cubs hang on to him for next season. I don’t trust Hendry when it comes to trades. Maybe I’m wrong, but getting Cesar Izturis for Greg Maddux leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    The free agent market for 2012 is thin, so maybe the Cubs should just hang on to Ramirez for one more season.

    1. awesome

      one more season may be one too long. it’s better to trade some one a year early then a year too late. he’s not going to put us over the top in 2012.

  3. Jelly

    Ship off Rami, sign Fielder and Pujols, put Pujols at 3rd! (I’m being sarcastic here!)

    1. awesome

      quade would play Fielder in LF.

    2. the1truebob

      I realize you’re making a sarcastic joke, Jelly. But Pujols was originally a 3rd baseman. However, at the time he came up, the Cards had Rolen. Pujols was much more flexible when it comes to defensive positions. Thus, he was the one who was shifted around until McGwire left.

  4. die hard

    good riddance

  5. pfk

    The Yankees for sure. A-Rod is a slow healer so its probably 6 weeks and more. Plus, they are in a heated race and can’t afford to wait, they need to fill that spot asap.

  6. MichiganGoat

    Interesting rumor on Pena from MLBTR.com:

    The Bucs make for an interesting match, as typically it’s been the Cubs swiping useful players from them.  I also like the fit because the Pirates could avoid giving up any useful young players for Pena, instead offering to relieve the Cubs of most of the slugger’s remaining $6.6MM.

    Wonder what the bucs would be willing to give?

  7. Cheryl

    Trade him and see if Castro can play third during winter ball. And, isn’t Flaherty an option?

    1. MichiganGoat

      Where to play Castro next year will be an interesting debate going forward.

  8. RY34

    we have nobody to play third next year so i say we keep him at a reduced price if possible. he won’t waive the ntc though because i really don’t think he cares about winning or the playoffs all that much. sign him to a two year incentive laced deal and then he can retire after two years.

  9. die hard

    we have ss in minors so Castro moves to 3rd and Lemaheu to outfield?

    1. MichiganGoat

      Which SS are you referring to? Lee was traded in the Garza deal.

  10. Hogie

    Lemaheu at 2nd, Barney at short, Castro to 3rd sounds reasonable.

    1. hardtop

      Well assuming barney doesnt have a serious sophomore, junior, or senior slump you’re basically talking about going forward with lemehue as a replacement for aramis’ bat in the lineup. if we do that, where are we going to get the other big bat? i dont see lemehue driving in 100 every season, and he looks like a 4 to 6 homer a year guy rather than 30. I am not saying we keep Aramis beyond maybe 2012, but lemhue would be a solution to get us through a losing season, if we are able to trade aramis for some stellar prospects. He does not appear to be a long term 2nd baseman. I like barney but, I dont believe he is a long term infielder either. We need standout players that are going to help us win, i dont think either of these guys are going to be better than average.

  11. CBP

    What about Nunez and a couple mid prospects fOr Aramis. Nunez is a solid hitter, he is young

  12. Ramy16

    We have junior lake, armis alcantara at ss ..finally Ry34 agrees with me..even ace knows that 3rd base is thin…

  13. Ramy16

    I knew this would come up sooner or later…Hendry is a dumb ass and will plug in some idiot who cant bat or field

    1. Toosh

      That would be Ramirez in April and May.

  14. Ramy16

    Cbp…great idea…Nunez would be a nice pick up along with montero…if it makes sense iam down..as you guys know he’s my favorite player..I would hate to see him go..I just don’t think that trading aramis will help our team…and the Cubs have a lot of money coming off the books..they could use that money and Ramirez around

  15. steve

    How does this organization possibly think we can compete this year still? we wont be able to compete next year either. trade ramirez. put me at third base next year. it wont matter because we could have brooks robinson playing third next year and still not win anything. trade everyone. its time to rebuild. and you cant half ass it.

  16. dreese

    Hey Ace/Brett
    What do you know about Bryan LaHair? I was reading a minor league report and I looked at his stats and they are amazing. Why is he not being concidered as a 1B/3B option next year?

    If he is no longer in the organizaion my bad.

    1. Hogie

      I think it has been his age. He is 28, or 29 maybe, and has developed the rep of a AAAA type guy. Tough to shake that rep, even if he has been crushing it in Iowa. I don’t think he can play third base though.

  17. pfk

    Get what you can for Ramirez now as the circumstances could never be better. Its a Perfect Storm. They aren’t going to pick up his option and he’ll be a free agent anyway. We make a run in 2012 but its 2013 that could be super hot. We aren’t going to fill all the holes in one off season. But we need to start. Get some talent in return, get his salary off the books, which goes for some good FA pitchers that will be available (like he did with Lilly and Marquis) or Fielder, etc. I just don’t want Hendry calling the shots once the season ends.

    1. EQ

      these are all good points, but like I’ve been saying… who are these players we can get to fill the holes?? there’s not a lot out there available this off season.. Fielder, Pujols… then who?? Ramirez has tremendous trade value and can net us a nice return, I believe we have to be blown away.. there’s no better option at 3B next year.. if we do lose him, we better get value back because we’ll probably be taking a step backward at 3B for the next several years.

      1. Jeff

        How many more years are you expecting out of Ramirez? Before the last couple of weeks, he looked like he was done. If he keeps this up, great, but anyone can get hot for a couple of weeks (Sam Fuld). If all we get out of him is a month or two of great baseball and 3 or 4 months of garbage every year, then Blake DeWitt/Jeff Baker can replace his production. If he comes back next year, it will be for the 16 million dollars he is expecting. The question should be, is Ramirez’s production over the rest of this season and the next, worth more to the organization than what is looking like would be a pretty good haul for him?

        1. EQ

          I personally think he’s got one more good year in him after this year.. We do need to see how he finishes this year… if he ends up around the .300/30/100 mark then he’s a top 5 offensive 3B in the bigs and the best choice for next year..

          I expect the BA to finish around the .275 mark, around 27 HRs and 85-95 RBI. My whole point I always try to make on ARAM is that we might as well keep him through next year if there’s not a better solution out there.

          Too many people on here just want to get rid of guys expecting tons of talent to be available for us, that’s not the case. If ARAM is our best choice next year at 3B then let’s keep him.. at least the 1 more year, shoot, maybe next year when we’re totally out of it he’ll have more trade value.. screw the “body language” assumptions, I’ll take his production any day.

          1. Toosh

            Best case scenario if Ramirez starts the 2012 season with the Cubs? His contract has been renegotiated. He again fails to produce in April and May. The Cubs are out of contention by June 1st and the discussions as to what to do with him start again.

            1. EQ

              true, but would you rather be watching Blake Dewitt hit .260 with a couple HR’s and 25 RBI at the break?

              I’m not at all against trading ARAM,( if it’s a good trade ) but I have yet to see anyone better that we can plug in there next year.

  18. RY34

    I am just curious about hearing that Castro could play third. Aren’t most of his errors via the throw? why would he be any better at third then short?? i think he and barney need to swap, keep aramis at most 2 more years and try to find someone on the market that can take over after that. i am done thinking vitters is the answer. i would much rather spend money on fielder or pujols which really when it comes down to it, i think the only shot is at fielder and maybe try to acquire a solid couple of starters. Cashner will probably be in the bullpen and Wells is so horrible this year, who knows what he will be next year. Pujols will not be wearing Cubbie blue next year, I’d be willing to guarantee that. The cubs also need to figure out a way to become better at the following:

    1. Running the bases hard all the time; go from first to third consistently once in a blue moon
    2. Pitchers need to attack the strike zone instead of nibbling
    3. Hitters need to recognize the strike zone and develop some patience; being worst in the league in walks allowed and walks taken will never cut it
    4. Just maybe our pitchers and even most of our hitters can finally figure out how to lay a bunt down
    and finally, it would be really nice if we could:
    5. string more games together without having multiple errors

    If we could have figured these simple concepts out in spring training this year, this year might not have been such a pathetic season after all.

    1. Jeff

      I agree. This team is completely unprepared, and it was evident as early as the first game of spring training. It started there and has not improved. There have been poor decisions and execution left and right. Regardless of everyone’s salary and age, this team is entirely too talented to be 18 games under .500.

    2. Bric

      All good points but the one about attacking the strike zone. Seems like every time a pitcher has attacked the strike zone the result is a rocket to left field. I’ve often wondered about Soto’s pitch calling- I remember reading in BA a couple of years ago when they interview anonomously opposing scouts that the one they talked to was astounded at how many pitches were shook of during spring training. You can argue all the reasons you want for it but the reality is the Cubs led both leagues in strike outs for 9 straight years until Soto took over behind the plate.

      1. Ron

        Didn’t Rothchild call the pitches?

  19. CUB5

    As much as I like Aramis (and Garza), I think this team needs a major overhaul and these guys aren’t tied up for a long time. Get some good prospects and let’s get this season over with; if ONLY we could unload Soriano and Z…

  20. Joe

    Are there offers being made? Or is it just interest right now?

  21. Ramy16

    Once again I agree with RY34…great point

  22. Ramy16

    I just hope Hendry can get something worked out with Aramis Ramirez

    1. MichiganGoat

      You regularly call Hendry a Fat F***, complain how he doesn’t have a clue. So either one of two things could happen: 1-he gives ARam an extension and thereby cripples the Cubs for the next 10 years, but makes you happy OR 2- He either doesn’t trade him or bring him back next year and you continue to call him an idiot. I ask you which one is better?

  23. The Magicman

    Trade Ramirez, Barney, Vitters, and some mid level prospects for David Wright and Jose Reyes. Move Castro to 2nd. Sign Fielder or Pujols. Prob Pujols now cause Fielder is tearing it up and Pujols prob will take less money next year.
    C-Soto
    1B-Pujols
    2B-Castro
    SS-Reyes
    3B-Wright
    OF-Soriano
    OF-Colvin
    OF-Jackson

    1. EQ

      we’ll need that lineup to put up enough runs to make up for our pitching staff giving up 7 runs per game!

  24. chris margetis

    If that lineup was remotely feasible, I’d take it!

  25. Rumor: Cubs Continue to Discuss Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena Trades | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] That said, a West Coast tipster tells me he’s heard that the Angels are interested in Aramis Ramirez, but would also consider adding Carlos Pena. With Mark Trumbo holding down first and Bobby Abreu now seeing regular DH starts, it’s unclear where the Angels would use Pena. Alberto Callaspo is only producing meagerly at third, so it’s obvious where Ramirez would fit into the Angels’ plans. Big caveat: I have absolutely no idea whether the two sides are actively discussing a deal for either player – but there’s interest. This comports with a rumor from Nick Cafardo a few days ago, which said the Angels were hotly pursuing Ramirez. [...]