Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

The ship was already drifting away from the dock, untied. But now, it’s sailed.

That’s the metaphor used by Aramis Ramirez’s agent, Paul Kinzer, when describing the likelihood of his client returning to the Chicago Cubs.

Instead, Ramirez is looking for a multi-year deal from another team.

“Aramis is going to be fine,” Kinzer said of Ramirez. “We’re not in any hurry. I’m just feeling teams out.

“As the market establishes itself and people find out if they’re in or not on [Albert] Pujols or [Prince] Fielder, and who’s in on [Jose] Reyes, Aramis is going to be there,” Kinzer continued. “He’s not looking at an eight-year contract. He’s going to be looking in the four-[year] range, and maybe three [years] with an option. It’s going to be his choice.”

Ramirez, as the top free agent third baseman on the market, will probably get that three or four year deal, and will be paid handsomely for it. Whatever resentment exists related to Ramirez’s refusal to accept a trade this year, and his back-and-forth comments with respect to a return to the Cubs in 2012, I’m hopeful that it will soon be squashed. I’d like to go forward remembering Ramirez fondly – as the best Cubs’ third baseman since Ron Santo.

Fond memories, however, isn’t likely to be the expression on Bob Brenly’s lips when he thinks on Ramirez – and vice versa.

The Cubs broadcaster had some harsh words for Ramirez last month, describing him as a “numbers gatherer” who is bad defensively, bad on the base paths, and not a leader.

Kinzer says the criticism was inappropriate, and maddening.

“I’m not real happy about the stuff that came out negative about Aramis,” Kinzer said. “For a broadcaster to come out and say that I think is very low-class. We didn’t come out and say a word about it, but that bothered Aramis and it bothered me a lot.

“If [Brenly] had something to say to him, he should’ve said it to his face when he was a Cub and not when he hits free agency and then come out like that,” Kinzer said. “You can talk to Jim Hendry, Lou Piniella, Dusty Baker and if [Ramirez] isn’t a producer and he was as bad as he said, and not a clutch hitter – they don’t give Silver Sluggers out to punch-and-Judy hitters.”

I can’t say I’ve heard that expression connected to baseball before, but Kinzer’s point is simply that Ramirez has been a productive hitter in his time with the Cubs, and he has been.

Kinzer noted that there are no hard feelings between Ramirez and the Cubs or the city of Chicago. It’s just time to move on.

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