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First, Aramis Ramirez indicated that he wouldn’t be accepting a trade out of Chicago. He loved the city and the team, and he wanted to stay a Cub forever.

Then, Ramirez softened, and suggested that he might be willing to accept a trade in August, after his family had returned to the Dominican Republic.

Then, Ramirez’s agent, Paul Kinzer, said that not only would Ramirez definitely consider a trade in August, but also suggested that Ramirez might well consider one before that time. In fact, Kinzer went so far as to say that Ramirez would agree to waive his 2012 option in order to help a deal happen.

Then, Ramirez and Kinzer met with Cubs brass, who left feeling like Ramirez would not accept a trade at any time. Ramirez even said he wanted to sign an extension to stay in Chicago.

Then, yesterday, Ramirez said the Cubs hadn’t approached him about a trade, but, if they did, Ramirez would consider it.

Then, last night, Kinzer said Ramirez hasn’t changed his stance (which time?), and does not want to be traded. Confused/frustrated yet?

“He doesn’t want to go anywhere,” Kinzer told FOXSports.com after speaking with Ramirez on Thursday night. “It didn’t come out the way he meant it to.”

“Nothing has changed,” Kinzer continued. “[Ramirez] said if [the Cubs] go young, he would do it. But he doesn’t want to leave Chicago. He isn’t going anywhere. [Ramirez] has never wavered as far as wanting to stay in Chicago. If he had his way, he would sign an extension and stay right there.”

Those words, of course, are a near opposite of what Ramirez said after yesterday’s game. The money quotes were: (1) “They come to me with a trade, we’ll see, but nobody has talked to me about it;” and (2) “I understand it’s a business. If they’re looking to rebuild, I can’t fit in. So we’ll see.”

It’s not like it takes seven layers of parsing to conclude that Ramirez is saying he’d consider accepting a trade. Now, his agent says Ramirez’s words came out wrong, and Ramirez meant the exact opposite. If your head is spinning, you’re not alone.

I’m told by a Major League source that Ramirez’s comments struck a chord with a number of teams, who started lighting the Cubs’ phones back up to check on Ramirez’s availability. I haven’t heard the impact of Kinzer’s statement last night, but the Cubs are growing weary of the back-and-forth being played out in the media. So much so, the source says, that the Cubs might be to the point where they will do what they can to force a trade.

It’s hard to understand Ramirez’s perspective on this thing. I try to take what people say at face value, and I try to remember that these are real people, with real families, and real lives that exist outside of the baseball diamond. So I recognize that there could be some internal conflict. But, at the same time, get on the same page with your agent, and get a clear message across.

At this point, despite his statements, I still don’t feel like I know what Ramirez’s real endgame is here. Is he trying to tell the Cubs that he wants an extension, and thinks that by yo-yoing them, he gains leverage? Is he trying to force his way out so that his 2012 option goes away, and he enters a really weak free agent market? I truly can’t figure it out, and maybe Ramirez doesn’t fully know what he wants either. Maybe he’d prefer to stay with the Cubs long-term, but, if that isn’t going to happen, he’d think about accepting a trade. So the message comes out garbled. I’m just spit-balling here.

Whatever the case, the Cubs better make sure to be on the same page as Ramirez in the next two days. If he would accept a trade, the Cubs need to know that, and to act on it. If he absolutely will not accept a trade, the Cubs need to figure out what they want to do at third base in 2012 and beyond.

They’re running out of time.

  • CubFan Paul

    i think his agent’s Plan A is: stay with the Cubs & get a 2-4yr extension because the Cubs will be one of only a few teams this offseason that has MEGA Dollar$ coming off the books to spend
    Plan B: accept a trade to the Angels & hit free agency or get an extension from them

  • EQ

    so if we had a choice, which would you all take?
    ARAM for next year at his option price (14 mil I think)
    -or-
    he signs a 2-year extension at a reduced rate… say 2 years $22 mil??

    • CubFan Paul

      EQ, i would take either seriously ..either dont trade him & excercise his option to much of his chagrin and let him play out his contract year next year (or trade him in july 2012 to a contender if we still stink) Or resign him to a 2-3 cub friendly deal whick i’d think he’d accept

      ..my logic is, we have no replacement & theres no free agent replacement @3rd base, so why not keep him & bring in a big bat @First base and maybe somewhere eles (RF or 2nd base)

  • Michael A. Fobber

    I have a simple solution for this problem. Sit him the rest of the season!!!!! No playing time!! Finished. Allow his skill go to crap while he sits everyday and then let him become a free agent. The Cubs want to go young and get rid of veterans to aquire the talent to do so. Aram is lazy and selfish; It’s always been this way. Voted to the All Star Game and he refuses to participate. He’s been given an enormous contract by the Cubs for years and now refuses to help them out? Instead he wants to show his appreciation by screwing them? He won’t go to a contender??….says it all doesn’t it? Yep, I’m a loser and a coward!!! ( sweet ) Sit him!!!!! and make him regret it. His contract will run out and hurt his chances to sign for more money. It’s called poetic justice and I would tell him that’s the plan so that he can make the decision that he wants to live with.

    • http://Bleachernation Dan Ballard

      Very well said, I came to the same conclusion after he got fat and rich off the Cubs, and now refuses to help the team out. Sit his a#$ and bring up the kids.

      • CubFan Paul

        i dont think the players union would allow the team to bench ramirez just because he refused a trade ..thats the whole point of 10/5 rights that he’s earned ..10yrs in the league & 5yrs on the same team ..lets be reasonable guys

        • Michael A. Fobber

          It’s obvious you are pro Aram and that I’m pro Cubs. You want to see this guy signed for 2 or 3 more years? For what rational reason? Do you really expect them to compete in that length of time? I’ll take that bet gladly and I’ll spot you another 3 years at least. Jim Hendry has completely ruined this team; It’s void of any decent talent at least from a veteran standpoint. These long stupid as_) contracts have screwed this team over for years buddy and you want Aram for another 2 or 3 years at 40x what we can play a youngster for? The Cubs have to go young not pay these overhyped, overpriced losers. By the time the Cubs are good again Aram will be on his fourth year of retirement. I don’t give two craps and a stroke about 10/5 rules which yes I know about and didn’t really need it pointed out. At the same time you are trying to make this a viable team again and Aram is not a part of that picture and I would think as an owner you’d have every right to play who want to play…… So sit Aram Sit…..goood boy.

        • EQ

          yeah and what part of ARam’s stats over the past decade does everyone not like.. the usual batting average between .275 and .310??? the 25-35 HR’s?? the 85-110 RBI?? He’s been the most consistent player on this team since 2003 and wasn’t viewed as a problem the 5 years we were over .500 and/or the 3 years we were a playoff team.. we’re assuming he’s selfish and lazy by what, body language?? Also, several guys didn’t want to play the All Star game this year, not just him.

          You know who else was selfish?? how about ARod, Clemens, Bonds, etc. I’m sure we would have been happy to have any of them.

          • CubFan Paul

            totally agree with you EQ

            Micheal A., im pro Cubs by the way &if you were a regular here @BN you would know that & you would know the cubs financials next year and would know that they have a solid shot at competing next year and the following few

            smh@internet knuckleheads

            • Michael A. Fobber

              CubFan Paul
              I have a hundred plus years of proof that they are fools with money. Always with a top 5 payroll and damn near always with nothing to show for it. Financials…….you have to have someone who actually knows how to not piss it all way on crap. Do we have such a person. Didn’t think so.

              • CubFan Paul

                ..oblivious to the facts

                • Michael A. Fobber

                  CubFan Paul…..no you really didn’t say this to me………oblivious to the facts Are you serious? Why do you have inept players with contracts so huge that it makes it impossible to get rid of because no one wants them? You really don’t believe that the brass is completely foolish with money. Zambrano is making Cy Young type money and gives you about 8 to 10 wins a year. Soriano’s is completely and grossly overpaid for his 20hrs, RBI’s all coming by the solo HR, a .260BA if lucky and an OBP of what? .300 and then you have Aram who you believe is worth socking more money into while he has very few years left in his career. Ohhh and let’s not forget Fukudome. You want to tell me that I’m oblivious to the idea that these morrons are fiscally irresponsible????????? Are you kidding? Please tell me you are.

                  • CubFan Paul

                    those arent the ‘facts’ i was talking about ..no shit BigZ, soriano, & fukudome are overpaid ‘Now’ ..but Brett’s forum here isnt suitable for me to get my point across, so have a nice day Micheal A.

          • STG3

            And I wouldn’t want any of them for that reason. What this team needs more then anything else is a team Leader.

          • Michael A. Fobber

            EQ….stats over the last decade…Is he going to play for another decade or is he just about finished? My God man, this isn’t about the last 10 years, it’s about the next 10 years. Wasn’t a problem the last 5 years that the Cubs were over .500??? Yeah, maybe that’s because he was in his prime. He isn’t in his prime anymore. It’s over. It’s time to find a 3b that can start out young and play through his prime again like we did when we first got Aram. If I’m the Cubs I’ve already paid for his productivity but now his great years are gone. Do you want to keep paying like we are that dumb dope in LF and slowly watch Aram skills vanish like a fart in the wind and yet still owe him millions of dollars????? Your next comment……..we’re assuming he’s selfish and lazy by what, body language?? Noooooo…How about the fact that it takes him 20 minutes to get to 1st base on a ground ball???? I’m sorry, I guess that is called ambition and a whole lot to expect from a guy making only 16 mil a year. Next statement you made………Also, several guys didn’t want to play the All Star game this year, not just him…………..Yes you are absolutely correct.. guess what? I don’t want them on my team either!!!

            • EQ

              I get that, and I hear you.. and I do think he’s only got a year or two tops of production left in him.. i do have 2 comments on what I was trying to say:
              1. people have been bashing him as a player for several years now and he was producing during those years..
              2. he IS PRODUCING those kind of numbers THIS YEAR! which contrasts your comments.

              • Toosh

                He doesn’t produce in April and May and the Cubs usually get off to a slow start.

                • CubFan Paul

                  Toosh, Aramiz has hitting .280-.290 in April & May this year

                  • Toosh

                    Get back to me with his HRs and RBIs for those months and even his BA didn’t help the Cubs win and it will be the same way next season. Not all his fault to be sure, but reasons to consider if the Cubs want him back.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      irrelevent

                      his lack of power & .280ba woulda looked great if Pena & crew woulda been pulling their weight

              • Michael A. Fobber

                EQ……..I am on your side man. I’m 43 and I’ve been a fan since I could watch tv. I’m right there with you and I’m not slamming Ram for that past. I think he’s been great player for a lot of years and yes, I agree again; He’s putting up great numbers this year in a contract year. He is at that age where it’s all coming to an end however, and I think you have to prepare for the future. I want the cubs to win as much as everyone else here. I just think they need to be financially resposible and that starts with getting rid of Hendry in my opinion. This year Aram is what 34? and in recent years has had trouble staying healthy. That’s not likely to become better and those numbers are not going to last unless he visits barry bonds old trainer. lol

                • EQ

                  Thanks Micheal and to clearly state my thinking, I really do think ARam’s time is just about up too.. the only reason I’d stick with him next year is because there’s no better option..

                  However, I would trade him if we get a top pitching prospect in return like with the Beltran trade.. because our need for starting pitching is greater and outweighs our need for ARam at 3B.. hope that made sense. But, my faith in Hendry pulling off such a trade isn’t very high.

                  • Michael A. Fobber

                    EQ……well said my friend. I do agree that the main issue is pitching and boy do we need it. But hey….I’m willing to take anyone right now that is projected to have a good, long, solid major league career but I too would lean more towards pitching. I too do not trust Jim Hendry; He might be a great guy but he’s really really bad at baseball. His decision making has been catastrophic to this baseball team. I know Fukudome is not a great player…that’s true but Hendry in my opinion traded him a pitcher who is just as bad as anything we already have on the roster. The other guy is an of/3b in A+ and while he has shown he can steal a base and hit the long ball, He strikes out at a freightning rate, hits for a poor average, and doesn’t get on base. He right now is young but if he can’t change his approach, he’ll never see a major league field. Just by numbers alone he looks like a young Soriano…and that is scarey. I think instead he should have went after one solid player instead of one crapy pitcher and another guy who is like playing a game of darts in the dark.at best.

              • Joe Cartwright

                What i’ve always bashed him about is his defense. There are a lot of plays that he doesn’t make that I think a major league third baseman should make. There have been a lot of double plays not turned ,because he was slow on his throw, and there have been a lot of infield singles, because he could only knock down the ball. His defense will a lot of the time look kind of lazy, too. There’s no denying his power but I really don’t like his defense.

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  • Hogie

    Hunter Pence might get the Astros Dominic Brown from the Phillies! That is a number 4 prospect folks.

    Ramy, I have loved our time together, but we’ve grown apart. Please understand this is what is best for the both of us. It’s not you, it’s me.

    Seriously, Ramy might be the best bat available (if he decides that he is) and is for sure the best bat available at his position. If the Pence deal goes down that way, do you think Aramis could net a top ten prospect and then some.

  • Mike

    I agree Cubfan Paul.
    The Cubs don’t have anyone who can immediately fill the 3b position in the system that has his offensive power. Add to that, the 3B market is going to be weak this offseason, so why not keep him. Pay Rami his $2 million dollar buyout, renegotiate a Cub friendly deal and retain his power and services. If they unload Pena, his bat is going to be needed.

    And here is an interesting point I heard this past offseason before the Cubs signed Pena.

    Take Ramirez and put him at first to fill the void if Pena leaves and they can’t get Pujols or Fielder. Then, go and get a third baseman. Outside of Pujols or Fielder, the first base market will be a little bare this offseason as well. It may be another viable option. Just a thought!

  • Vince

    It seems like the cubs are in limbo for 2012 and beyond. Tom Ricketts must think that he’s in the twilight zone.

  • Hogie

    I don’t know that the Cubs will be ready to compete for a world series next year no matter what they do. This organization needs to retool for the future. If Ramirez can get us a great tool for that future, then I hope management will do it. These “win now”, and “we are only a few moves away” ideas are what have gotten us into the trouble we are in now. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I want to see a team that can consistently compete for a series, not just the division.

  • RoughRiider

    I have a simple solution for this problem too. Everybody leave him alone and let him play the game. At the end of the year sign him to a 2 year contract and then put a batter behind him that has some power and doesn’t strike out a third of his at bats and with a decent average. Let the Cubs develop a replacement at third if they can !!!

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    Well guys..we should restructure his contract…BIG HOLE at 3rd base..whos going to fill it Blake Dewitt? Jeff Baker?.. Neither can produce..however if we trade big Z to Yankees and we can get Eduardo Nunez ? Now were talking!

  • Michigan Goat

    If he won’t except a trade let him go, this doublespeak is bullshit and he is not showing me anything that says he’ll be a good teammate or influence for the kids are coming next year. Take the 14M get some starting pitching depth and deal with down production from 3B next year. At some point we will have to figure out who will take over at 3B so let 2012 be the year we find what we have

  • http://BleacherNation Ramy16

    I agree with some of you guys…the sad part is we have a GM that has no business running the Cubs..I think Ricketts is a doucher of an owner for giving Hendry the ability to ruin this team..I feel real sorry for the next GM who gets this team..

  • Cheryl

    JH and Quade in a sense are a separate issue. Aram cancollect his paycheck on the bench. I don’t think the Players Union can force a manager to play someone (I could be wrong on this.). So, give hi an ultimatum – accept a trade or sit on the bench. They could bring up Flaherty early and see how he works out at third base.

  • RY

    good god, both of them just need to shut the hell up already!

  • chode

    It seems to me that the cubs have the leverage in this situation. If Aramis is set on staying with the cubs, then use that to sign him to a cub friendly contract for 1-2 years at the end of this season, similar to Kerry Wood. If he doesn’t like it replace him after his contract is up. This will allow the organization to focus on obtaining prospects and allow them to develop to replace him at third base. You know, any good GM would have anticipated this, and would have a player waiting in the farm system, it is disappointing to realize we don’t have that. Hey ACE what is the possibility that one of our numerous outfield prospects could make the switch to 3bag, and if so who would be a decent candidate?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      None of the Cubs’ big-time OF prospects – Jackson, Szczur, DeVoss, Ha, among others – has meaningful infield experience except DeVoss. And he’s been playing some 2B.

      The best internal 3B options after Ramirez are, in no particular order, Ryan Flaherty, DJ LeMahieu, Josh Vitters, Jeff Baker and Blake DeWitt.

  • auggie1955

    I think we should send Aramis back to the Pirates as a way of saying, “thank you”.

  • STG3

    Here is what I don’t understand about everyone wanting to keep Ramirez and the only key Stat in all of this. Is Ramirez have an effect on the Cubs Win Loss record? No! But Can he help us fill some hole if he is traded. Now I am going to get but who is going to play 3B? Maybe we get a young 3B who will be ready next year in return or we try and use one of our other trades to fill that need. The cubs have some serious issue andIf trading Ramirez can fill 2 or 3 holes you have to do it.

    • EQ

      do you trust Hendry can pull off a trade for ARam that got us good players in return?

      • marc

        no.

    • RoughRiider

      By all means. If the Cubs can trade Ramirez for two major league positional players that can hit 30 home runs and 100 RBIs for the next 3-5 years they should do it. I fthe cant get at least one and a very good prospect than don’t.

  • marc

    Aramis is lazy, and he’s even proving it with how he’s dealing with these trade rumors…. tell us yes I will wave it or no i wont wave it…. We dont want you anymore… get it through ur head…give us something in return for the substandard play for these last two years…He has to be stoned before every game…look at the mans eyes…

    • RoughRiider

      Thank you Dr. Marc !!!

      • marc

        Your welcome. I’ve had a bitter taste in my mouth about ramy ever since game 3 in 2007 vs the diamandback… he went 0-4 with 2 errors and every time it showed him, he looked sooooo burnt out… either he didnt sleep AT ALL, or he was stoned…

        • RoughRiider

          Marc, maybe he was ill. Maybe it was allergies. My point is, you don’t know that he was on anything illegal and to suggest that he was is just wrong. He doesn’t deserve that kind of treatment. How would you feel if you went to work with a bad allergy and someone accused you of doing drugs?

  • marc
    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You know that’s the same citation (Rosenthal and Kinzer) as this post, right?

      • marc

        woops…..

  • marc

    I’m going to plead sports overload, with trade deadline talk and football free agency…my mind is blown right about now…my bad

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No biggy. We’ve all been there.

      I hear Brett Favre is coming out of retirement to be traded at the deadline to the Colorado Broncos for Ubaldo Tebow.

  • EQ

    We’ve spent a lot of time on here bashing guys for not living up to their contracts.. and rightfully so, they aren’t living up to them.. however, shouldn’t we be turning our frustrations to Jim Hendry? He’s the one that gave everyone and their dog tons of money, full no trade protection and too many years?? If he had done a better job we wouldn’t be in this mess..

    Soriano should have never been given 8 years.. as for Big Z, I believe no starting pitcher should ever get more than a 3-4 year deal.. too many injuries possible.. I was all for some of the extensions Hendry gave to people in the past (Lee, ARam, Marmol, Demp.) etc. but he always gave way too many years to them.

    Think about it, would any of us be as mad if Soriano was only signed to a 5 year deal back in 07?? or if Fukudome had only been signed to like a 2 year deal with a 3rd year option? I blame Hendry’s ignorant generosity for our problems.

    • Fishin Phil

      Of course you are right. I’d have even been ok with 3 or 4 years on Fukudome if the salary amount had been commensurate with the complimentary player that he is. Numbnuts gave him Star money that he couldn’t possibly live up to.

    • Michael A. Fobber

      EQ………No dout!!!!! Hendry loves to show off his relative lack of knowledge for the game of baseball. Does anyone here know that we had Josh Hamilton????? Hendry picked up a troubled kid who was fighting through his addictions of drugs and Alcohol. A 1st round number 1 pick in the draft Josh Hamilton was, Hendry picked him up for something like 50k and instead of seeing if he could overcome his demonds and be a viable part of this team which is what I wanted him to do because the risk to reward would have been crazy. I mean 50k….it’s not that much when compared to the absolutely dumbass contracts you’ve handed out to others. You could have placed him in your minor leagues and just waited to see what happened. If he relapses then you simply let him go without a hell of a lot lost. Nope………Hendry instead ships him off to the Reds for about a 50k profit 10 minutes after aquiring him. Meanwhile, Dumb Jim brings us Fukudome. Thanks Jim. Jim Hendry is intellectually lazy where baseball is concerned and is completely inept at running the every day operations of a major league baseball club. Tom Ricketts if you are reading this please get rid of Hendry. He might be the greatest guy in the world but this isn’t about friendship and admiration; This is about winning pure and simple and you can’t have someone in this position who knows nothing about baseball.

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