Paul Kinzer, Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez’s agent, today told Ken Rosenthal that Ramirez is unlikely to accept a trade before his family returns to the Dominican Republic in August. Because the non-waiver trade deadline passes on July 31, that would mean Ramirez could be traded only if he clears waivers – or if he’s traded to a team that claims him on waivers.
None of that, of course, is particularly surprising, as it comports with what Ramirez and Kinzer have been saying for months.
But here’s the very, very surprising part of Rosenthal’s story.
Contrary to Bruce Levine’s report just this weekend, Ramirez’s $16 million 2012 club option does vest if he’s traded. If that isn’t surprising enough, get this: Ramirez wants any trading team to agree to drop the option as a precondition to his accepting a trade.
Let me state that plainly so the shock registers: the very thing that, until yesterday, seemed like the greatest hurdle to a Ramirez trade (i.e., the fact that the trading team would be on the hook for $16 million to Ramirez in 2012) is now something Ramirez wants to get RID OF before he’ll accept a trade. I can barely wrap my head around it, but one thing it strongly suggests: Ramirez is very, very open to being traded.
Ramirez, according to his agent, would prefer to be a free agent at the end of 2011, and he also knows that agreeing to forfeit the option will make him more attractive to potential trade partners.
Does that sound like a guy who is going to veto a trade?
I think not.
In fact, to me, it sounds like a guy who will strongly consider accepting the right deal in late July, even if it means he moves on to another team a week or two before his family heads home to the Dominican Republic. Even the most ardent family man wouldn’t pass up the opportunity he’s clearly angling for just to spend an extra week or two with his family, right?
This is all very interesting, to say the least.