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From your caption suggestions yesterday both here and on Facebook, and some of my own ideas, here are some of the many ways to interpret Tom Ricketts’ visible, undying love for his new President of Baseball Operations, Theo Epstein. There were many, many great suggestions (like, well over 100), so I could only pick a handful. (If you’re bitter that I didn’t pick yours, however, feel free to head here and generate it.)

Away we go…

  • Toosh

    Now Ramirez says he’s willing to listen to the Cubs about returning in 2012. This should be an easy call for the new management team.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yeah, just heard that; that definitely changes the calculus. If he unequivocally says he’ll take the one year option, then it’s time to think about paying him the buyout. I’ll have a write-up on the issue.

      • Hawkeye

        I am so tired of his back and forth crap.  I want to stay, please don’t trade me.   I want to go play somewhere for a contender.   I will decline an extension offer.  I want to come back.   

        Is there a number that it is worth bringing him back for or is he just a crappy all around guy to have in the club house.   3 years for 30 million?

        • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

          If I’m going 3/$30 for a third baseman right now, I’d rather it go to a guy like Cuddyer who can play all over the diamond. I’m not convinced that Ramirez will be the best third baseman on the Cubs three years from now, and he has shown no signs of being able to play elsewhere.

          • Hawkeye

            Cuddyer wouldn’t be a terrible option.   I don’t know lots about him.  Does he fit the new mold?  Age? OBP? Defensively strong (not that it would be hard to look good at defensive when compared with Ramirez)?

            • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

              I’m not sure about his defense, but he is more versatile than Ramirez, and, like you said, Ramirez isn’t exactly a tough standard to beat. His dWAR was -0.2 last year, but that didn’t include any time at third. Ramirez had a dWAR of -0.9.

              Offensively he posted an OPS+ of 121 last season (136 for Ramirez) and averages a 111 (Ramirez averages a 114).

              The good part with Cuddyer, though, is that the Cubs could stick him where they need him. LaHair struggling with first? Cuddyer to the rescue. Colvin disappearing in right? Cuddyer to the rescue. For a young team, that kind of flexibility is valuable.

              I didn’t realize he hadn’t played any third last season, though. That could be a cause for concern, depending on the reason.

              http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/cuddymi01.shtml
              http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/ramirar01.shtml

              • Hawkeye

                So he is basically like the second coming of Mark DeRosa.   I still can’t believe we let him get away.   With the new regime in town, we are not going to be getting rid of cheap quality players like that anymore.

                Also, thanks for the reseach Luke.

                • TWC

                  Except DeRosa has been remarkably ineffective since he left Chicago.  He was the right guy at the right time when we had him, for sure, but he’s been marginal since we let him walk.  I really can’t see how DeRosa can be considered a “loss”.  All the weeping across Cubdom over the last few years about him is pretty unreasonable.

                  • Fishin Phil

                    Agreed.  That was one of Hendry’s few “good timing” moves.  He caught lightning in a bottle for a short period, then moved him before it wore off.

                     

                    I’m sure it was an accident on Jim’s part.

                  • hansman1982

                    Agree, the 1 player we have sold high on in the past decade and people complain…

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        Even if he says he’ll take the one year option, I still offer the option and make it clear to him and his agent that he will not be getting a multi-year deal out of the Cubs, now or later. I think he’ll void rather than stay in a one year deal with no chance of extension.

        If he does keep the one year deal, the Cubs would have the opportunity to trade him at the deadline (assuming he waives his no trade clause). He has indicated a willingness to leave the Cubs for a contender already, so I think it would be a little odd if he suddenly was unwilling to do so next July.

        Either way, the Cubs get something for him. Extra draft picks if he voids, or half a season to let their third base prospects develop and something back in a trade. I really can’t see him taking the one year deal and then refusing any trade. He has a limited amount of time to get that last big contract, and his agent knows it even if he doesn’t.

        • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

          I wouldn’t trust Aram to waive his no trade clause. Theo would have to get a commitment in writing before he offers him such a deal and I doubt his agent or Aram would agree to that. In the end I don’t think he’ll agree to that option.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Agreed, I think Theo and Jed will look at ARam as the type of person that does not fit with the new attitude they are looking to build around.  His laziness and lack of commitment through all this is exactly the type of apathy that the future “Cubs Manual” would not tolerate (I hope).

        I wonder if his agent is now trying to get an additional 2M by playing this game, I hope ARam understands his agent is not exactly helping selling ARam as a veteran that has the intangibles that teams want in a veteran… i.e. Carlos Pena.

    • Internet Random

      This makes me think that his agent is telling him that he’s not getting quite so much attention as they might have hoped for.

  • Katie

    Yay! My caption made it!
    Also, Ramy is a toolbox. That’s it. That’s the list.

  • hansman1982

    BOO YOU DIDNT USE ANY OF MY CAPTIONS!!!!! BOO BOO JUST FOR THAT I WILL NOT CLICK THAT LINK BOO  BOO

  • Rancelot

    While I am disappointed my submittal didn’t make the cut, I totally understand. Mine was too long…that’s what she said. :)

  • Dan

    My caption made it also but my grammar stunk. LOL

    • Ian Afterbirth

      Stank.

  • die hard

    DeWitt should be given chance at 3rd for a couple of years until Vitters ready or Castro moved over and anywhere but SS….pay Ramirez the $2 Mil as a thank you for all the meaningless homers after the All-Star break..

    • Internet Random

      I think we gotta give Garza a shot at third.

  • ron

    I had to get rid of it too disturbing

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Don’t hate me, guys, but I removed that whole string of comments. You guys did NOTHING wrong, but I just figured, as you both said, no one needs to see/hear about that. And let’s just leave it at that.

      • Ron

        No, I don’t hate, I was having second thoughts right away but there is no remove button. I will give posts more thought next time. Sorry.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Genuinely: no problem at all. Just wanted to excise all the evidence…

  • http://bleachernation.com RicoSanto

    I bet Bryan lahair enjoyed Theo comments. Luke is right on track ,my son told me last week Cuddyer would be perfect.LaHair fails ,there you go.

  • BZ

    I wonder if he knows how close to Boys Town we are.

  • Dumpman

    I think we potentially already have a Cuddyer like player in Ryan Flaherty. Flaherty can play 6 spots at an average / below with the glove, and average to above with the bat. I realize Cuddyer has proven he can do it att he big league level, but I believe Flaherty can do it also, but at a much cheaper price.

    • JulioZuleta

      I don’t think he will approach Cuddyer’s productivity. It’s a very tough role to fill; I was never a fan of Mark Derosa, yes he could play 6 positions, but when you are below average at all of them, what good does that do? Also, he has the most inflated numbers of all time, he was a master of hitting a 3 run homer in a game that the Cubs were already up or down 8 runs, but when it came to crunch time he disappered (Then always reappeared post game to sit in front of the cameras and microphones to advertise himself). I could vent all day about Derosa. Anyways, the Cubs have had a bad tendency of going into seasons counting on utility guys and platoons. It clearly has not been a recipe for success, and I have to think it is going to be a lot less prevalent over the coming years. Flaherty is an ok guy to come off the bench (debatable) but I wouldn’t count on him to produce very much at all. At this point, I’m not so sure he’s a major leaguer.

  • Mike Foster

    I like the “priceless” caption the best…..although “My precious” did have me rolling on the floor.

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