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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.

  • chris margetis

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

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • Jelly

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

    • awesome

      quade would play Fielder in LF.

    • 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.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Yeah, but he’s not going to be starting there full-time any time soon. It is interesting that he can handle a game here or there at 3rd, though.

  • die hard

    good riddance

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • Cheryl

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

    • MichiganGoat

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

  • 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.

  • die hard

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

    • MichiganGoat

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

  • Hogie

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

    • 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.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        LeMahieu’s bat has the upside for second base – Barney’s doesn’t. But you’re right, LeMahieu’s bat probably doesn’t have the upside for third base.

        • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

          Agree to disagree. It’s hard to tell since Lemahieu didn’t get to play regularly, but Barney has great hitting numbers this year- especially when comparing the two. We Cub fans have a tendency to mentally rate players at a level we THINK they should be at rather than where they actually are.

          • oso

            Why plan on dumping Barney when he’s been one of the most productive hitters in the line up this year. The more I watch he and Castro play, the more I ascribe to the theory that they should switch positions. Barney is solid with the glove, a smart fielder and fundamentally sound. Good qualities for a SS, and infield captain. Castro on the other hand could continue to utilize his athleticism at 2nd, and reduce his fielding errors with a shorter throw, plus his bat still plays well for a 2nd baseman.

            What to do with third, first, right field and of course starting pitching are the real questions that won’t be answered before free agency. Obviously it should be a multi year project if done correctly.

            I favor a more creative, and less expensive approach to next year, like giving Lemahiue, Baker or other in house prospects opportunities at the corners, and trading for prospects that may solve the long term questions (Young, Alonso etc.)

            I don’t know what to say about starting pitching, but it seems like Garza would be a great piece to build around. I dig his attitude, and his stuff is sick when he is on his game, plus he is relatively young.

            The long and short of it is, we’ve gotta dump Ramirez and Byrd (much as I like him) for what we can get, try to get rid of Fukudome and Zambrano for salary relief, and just suck it up with Soriano.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            No. Barney doesn’t. I love the guy as a player and as a 25th man, but his bat has been no better than as a minor leaguer – he’s hitting .300, but he’s struggling to keep his OPS over .700. That just won’t cut it.

            • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

              Castro is going to the all star game with a .763. Soto is just a shade above Barney (with far fewer RBIs). OPS isn’t as useful a stat to me as it is to others.

              Plus, you know what I really like about Barney? He hits under pressure. How rare is it to see a guy that young look so poised and collected during the big at bats. Kind of reminds me of Ramirez back in the day.

              I’m not claiming that he’ll be a big 100 RBI run-producer, just that he’s a valuable offensive asset- especially compared to Lamahieu.

              Did you hear the game last week where Quade talked about putting Barney 8th? He gave a convincing argument as to why he’ll either be a 2,7, or 8 hitter.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                (1) Castro plays SS, not 2B – a .763 OPS at SS is much more valuable than a .763 OPS at 2B.

                (2) The Cubs had to have an AS rep, that’s why Castro is in there.

                (3) No stat is perfect, but OPS offers a nice shorthand way of describing a player’s offensive output. It says that Barney is below average – and that’s with him outperforming his minor league numbers at the Major League level (which almost never happens, and is almost never sustainable). if you have other stats to which you’d like to point, I’m open to it.

                (4) Barney’s bat has not been, and almost certainly will not be, sufficiently strong to start at 2B on a playoff-caliber team (unless that team has superstars have five or six other positions). He could probably be sufficient at SS, but not 2B, regardless of his defense.

                (5) Barney is absolutely a ML-caliber player. I simply do not believe he is a ML-caliber starter.

                • Kyle N

                  Brett,

                  I have to disagree with you on Barney overachieving his career minor league stats. He actually has been remarkably consistent all the way through the minor leagues:

                  2008 (A+) 459 PA, .262/.325/.357, 38 BB, 58 K
                  2009 (AA/AAA) 513 PA, .293/.339/.369, 36 BB, 65 K
                  2010 (AAA) 510 PA, .299/.333/.378, 23 BB, 52 K
                  2011 (MLB) 315 PA, .306/.334/.374, 10 BB, 31 K

                  2008 was his first professional season in which he had over 450 PA.
                  Barney clearly is a contact hitter with fairly low walk and strikeout rates and doesn’t have a lot of power, but he his heading into his peak years, so 30-35 doubles isn’t out of the question going forward.

                  For what it’s worth, among the second-basemen (eight total) who qualify for the batting title in NL, Barney ranks first in batting average, third in on-base percentage, and sixth in OPS.

                  There are NO second-basemen in the NL (with at least 150 PAs) with an on-base percentage over .352 with the exception of Chase Utley. (who only has just returned from injury and has been an oft-mentioned MVP candidate) Out of the TWENTY players on this list, Barney ranks seventh in OBP (.334) and ninth in OPS. (.709)

                  So it looks like, with the exception of Rickie Weeks in Milwaukee and potential Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Danny Espinosa in Washington, the crop of second basemen in the NL is merely average or below average. I beg to differ about Barney not being a major league starter, the other players getting consistent starts are proof to that.

                  Is he the long-term solution at second base. Probably not. Is he doing his best Ryne Sandberg impression? * Laughs * No way. The point is, as a rookie, he has been consistent all season, something Ramirez, Pena, and pretty much every pitcher on the team can’t say. You know from his track record what he is going to give you, and as a front office exec, isn’t THAT what you need to help plan for the future.

                  LeMahieu is also a contact hitter with low walk and strikeout rates and has shown more power than Barney to this point. He is only 22 years old and projecting him forward is going to vary considerably depending on who you talk too.
                  At this point, you absolutely NO idea how he’ll make the transition to the majors full-time. He was absolutely raking it in AA, but the Cubs really need to see how he adjusts to a substantial amount of time in AAA before we hand him a starting job.

                  So the big money question going forward is. . . Do you hit the blackjack table and take the more experienced Barney, knowing you’ll get .290/.340/.375 with steady defense due to a consistent career track record? Or do you head to the craps table and make your wager on the talented and younger LeMahieu with hardly any big-level experience?

                  I’m guessing spring training next year is when that question will get answered. After all, that was when Barney supplanted DeWitt and Baker as the starter this year. Raise your hand if you saw that coming?

                  As for me, I’m taking Barney. He has shown he can handle major league pitching and make adjustments. He can clearly hit the baseball in different spots in the order and is rising to the challenge this year with RISP. Time will tell on LeMahieu. Of course, if Barney has a horrible sophomore slump (here is looking at you Soto), it blasts my whole argument to pieces. However, his adjustments throughout the minor leagues all the way to Chicago does help quell that uneasiness. Don’t want to start worrying about next year already. . .

                  Side Note – The Cubs as a team are ninth out of sixteen in OBP (.317) and seventh out of sixteen in OPS. (.717) Right in the middle. News Flash! ! ! There are average players out there and they ACTUALLY play on good teams. Not everyone is Jose Baustita or Adrian Gonzalez. There is a difference between “suck” and “average.” Adam Dunn sucks right now. Ditto Dan Uggla. Most of the Seattle Mariners. . . guilty of sucking. Average players in baseball are more common than people realize (do you think the bell curve doesn’t apply to a sport where you hit a batted ball with a stick?) and all of the analysts seem to find great joy comparing a player to the best at their respective positions and then say how bad they are. I’m thinking the Cubs should be more concerned about their pitching staff and how it ranks at the bottom of nearly every relevant category. That is what is going to help this team win more games first and foremost. Makes a rookie second baseman making $400K with a 95 OPS+ not seem like such a big problem.

                  I don’t envy the second base situations of a lot of other teams.
                  Think Atlanta might be having second thoughts about signing Uggla?

                  Peace.

                  • Kyle N

                    I see that LeMahieu is actually 23 now. I dunno. . . getting a little long in the tooth. Haha.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    I love that you put that much thought into the comment – and you make some great points – but none convince me that Barney is a starting-caliber second baseman on a playoff-caliber team (clearly I love the word “caliber”). Of the last five playoffs, the closest comparison at second base to Barney is Freddy Sanchez, a man whose career OPS bests Barney’s by 66(!!) points. Even after Sanchez’s decline, his 2010 OPS – .739 – still tops Barney’s “breakthrough” 2011 season by 30 points. Defensively, they’re close, the but edge might go to Sanchez.

                    Let’s take a tour through the NL, offensively at 2B (which is worse, on the whole, than the AL), to see how Barney stacks up. I’ve honestly not done this before, so I’m not sure how it will shake out.

                    Arizona – Kelly Johnson (much better)
                    Atlanta – Dan Uggla (much better – unfair to judge him for one terrible year out of six)
                    Cincy – Brandon Phillips (much better)
                    Colorado – Various players (slightly worse)
                    Florida – Omar Infante (push)
                    Houston – Jeff Keppinger (slightly better)
                    Los Angeles – Juan Uribe/Jamey Carrol (slightly better)
                    Milwaukee – Rickie Weeks (much better)
                    New York – Murphy/Turner/etc. (better)
                    Philadelphia – Chase Utley (much, much better)
                    Pittsburgh – Neil Walker (better)
                    San Diego – Orlando Hudson (much better)
                    San Francisco – Freddy Sanchez (better)
                    St. Louis – Skip Schumaker (better)
                    Washington – Danny Espinosa (much better)

                    So, by my quick count, of the 15 other NL teams, a full 13 have second baseman who are better than Barney offensively, a full six of whom are much better than Barney. Even if we fight about a couple of spots, Barney is still solidly in the bottom third of the NL in offensive 2B. His defense is absolutely in the top third, but his bat will never be that of an average second baseman, much less the average second baseman on a PLAYOFF-caliber team.

                    I’m not trying to tear apart Barney here. I like him. A lot. I just think he gets an unfair bump because of his hustle, attitude and clutch hits this year (a “skill” of debatable replicability).

                    • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

                      Did a quick check on Yahoo sports. Pretty handy- you can compare by position, or click a dude (like Barney) and see where they line up against the league average and league leader. Of 4 stats they list:

                      AVG: Barney 306
                      Leader 323
                      Average 256

                      HR: Barney 1 (and really, it barely made it!)
                      Leader 17
                      Average 3

                      RBI Barney 31
                      Leader 59
                      Average 18

                      SB Barney 4
                      Leader 19
                      Average 4

                      More importantly, in various fantasy leagues he rates around the 10-15th pick for 2B. Where’s he at on draftstreet? (doesn’t load at work… bummer)

                      All in all, sounds average to me. Plus, there’s a case to be made that playoff-caliber teams (aka “next year” for Cub fans) are going to have a few superstars and a few solid dudes. You can’t spend superstar money on every position right? (Right, Yankees??) So once we put Pujols at 3rd, Fielder at 1st, add Lincecum and Halladay to the rotation… it’d be totally feasible to have Barney at 2nd.

                      So I agree with Kyle. Barney is legit and could be a piece of a playoff team. Oh, and Len Kasper agrees with me (take that for what it’s worth!)

                      http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/4623/kasper-barney-is-a-keeper-for-cubs

                      See? This is how intelligent Cub discussions should go. Other members of the commentariat: take note!

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      This was an enjoyable discussion. I’m not sure any of us changed any of our opinions, but I learned some things.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      This was one of the best threads I’ve read, intelligent and statistically supported. Good Job.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    i agree with Brett (as i have in other post about Barney being a utility guy not a starter) ..all this spent energy over a guy with a .360-370ish SLG% is stupid; his SLG proves Brett’s case alone. Barney is 25-26yrs old, so unless he starts a roid cycle or HGH this offseason he’ll still have a .360ish SLG and a non playoff caliber OPS of .700

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It’s reasonable, but it’s also pretty risky. That could be a whole lot of dead space in the lineup if the Cubs don’t add a big bat at one of those positions (yes, Castro could blow up into a run-producer by next year, but he might not).

      • Hogie

        Some project DJ to hit 15 homers or so as he matures. If he can continue his .325ish career average, and add those homers, with his good defense I would be happy. Like you said, risky, but I don’t know that I see us being all that great next year either, might be worth it to find out.

  • CBP

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

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

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

  • http://BleacherNation 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

    • Toosh

      That would be Ramirez in April and May.

  • http://BleacherNation 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

  • http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=14080749 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      LaHair has had a couple shots to make it in the bigs – limited shots, I’ll grant that – and he couldn’t put it together (first in the bigs with the Mariners, and then in ST with the Cubs). He’s destroying AAA, but there are many players who do that, but don’t have what it takes to make it in MLB. The most recent example is also probably the best comparison – Micah Hoffpaiur. Big, strong first baseman who could tear up AAA, but who was too old to be considered a prospect. He got his shot, and couldn’t hack it. The same might be true of LaHair.

      That said, if Pena is dealt in the next few weeks, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cubs let LaHair get plenty of starts in the second half.

      • Matt

        Maybe he’ll sign in Japan, then break the all time Japanese HR record.

      • dreese

        Great explaination, thanks

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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?

        • 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.

          • 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.

            • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • http://Bleachernation 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.

      • Ron

        Didn’t Rothchild call the pitches?

  • 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…

  • Joe

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

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Haven’t heard about any specific offers. We’re unlikely to hear about it until the two sides are very close (if that time comes), and even then, we might never hear about it – teams work very hard to deny all such trade talks after the fact if it’s a player who will be around for a while longer.

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    Once again I agree with RY34…great point

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

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

    • 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?

  • 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

    • EQ

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

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Signing Reyes (something I would adamantly oppose) and Pujols would cost an obscene amount of money – and that’s without Ramirez’s salary coming off the books, since you’ve allocated it to Wright. I would be nice to have all those pieces, but it probably isn’t realistic.

      • MichiganGoat

        Not to mention we have no idea if Wright is healthy and Reyes is raking on a contract year… Let’s not be fooled by that again.

  • chris margetis

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

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