From one extreme to another – if the Chicago Cubs are not able to trade Aramis Ramirez this or next month, it will be time to strongly consider bringing him back for 2012. They can do so via a $16 million club option, or by signing him to an extension. For his part, Ramirez could be on board sticking in Chicago for a while yet.
“I’ve been here eight years,” Ramirez said Tuesday. “Everybody knows I’ve always liked playing here. I would love to stay here. This is where I want to be.”
With the Cubs’ lack of run producers in the minor leagues at third base, exploring a two or three-year deal for Ramirez is a plausible scenario. Ramirez said “of course” a multiyear deal would be all right with him.
“I don’t know how long I want to play,” Ramirez said. “But I want to win, so I probably will give myself a little more time. But I’d like to do it here with the Cubs.” ESPN Chicago.
The fact that Ramirez is willing to sign an extension with the Cubs doesn’t mean the Cubs should bite. As one of the premier bats on the market (assuming he does become a free agent after this season – i.e., if the Cubs decline his $16 million 2012 option), Ramirez is likely to get a multiyear deal for, perhaps, more than he’s worth each year. A three year, $40 to 45 million contract is not inconceivable.
Ramirez is going to turn 34 next year. Do you really believe a 34/35/36 year-old Aramis Ramirez is the best use of $15 million in payroll over the next few years? Allow me to editorialize: he’s not. At all. It’s totally the wrong direction for this franchise, even if they will have to flounder for a year or two to find a replacement at third base.
That money can be better spent on a preeminent first baseman or starting pitcher, while some young guys like Ryan Flaherty, DJ LeMahieu, Josh Vitters, and, yes, even Blake DeWitt, get a shot to win the position.