Aramis Ramirez Returns Today, But Who Goes Out?

With third baseman Aramis Ramirez set to return from the disabled list today, the Chicago Cubs will have to decide whom to send out to make space for him. And it’s going to be a more difficult decision than usual.

The Cubs plan to activate third baseman Aramis Ramirez (hand) from the disabled list for today’s series opener against the White Sox, and short of a disabled-list move, the corresponding roster move could mean losing a player from the organization.

Piniella said the club plans to keep the pitching staff at full, 12-man strength, which would seem to put infielders Jeff Baker and Chad Tracy — both of whom are out of contract options — on the bubble.

Cubs officials say they don’t expect a trade before decision time.

Tracy, whose contract allowed him to be optioned only within the first 45 days of the season, is 5-for-22 (.227) since being recalled from Class AAA Iowa when Ramirez went on the DL (.250 overall).

The more versatile Baker also is hitting .250, but is 11-for-his-last-33. CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.

The other members of the bench include two of Kosuke Fukudome, Xavier Nady, and Tyler Colvin, and then Mike Fontenot and back-up catcher Koyie Hill. Hard to imagine any of those guys heading out.

It’s also hard to imagine the Cubs dropping Jeff Baker for nothing. If a trade is not on the agenda “before” decision time, perhaps the Cubs will designate Chad Tracy for assignment, which will give the team 10 days to find a taker for him. They’ll likely not get anything worth mentioning in return, but it at least allows them to exert some measure of control in the process.

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Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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