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Cubs’ Aramis Ramirez rumored to have interest from Marlins: Fan reaction
Chicago Cubs' third baseman Aramis Ramirez(notes) has a contract that contains a $16 million option for 2012. The Florida Marlins may be interested in signing Ramirez during the offseason. Which direction should Ramirez and the Cubs take?
The answer may depend heavily on the Cubs' plans for 2012. Do they intend to put a winning team on the field, or do they intend to rebuild? Just as I did with first baseman Derek Lee, I would personally hate to see Ramirez go. He came to the Cubs at the trade deadline in 2003 and helped spark a late-season run to the division title. He also helped the Cubs win two more division titles in 2007 and 2008. He has averaged 30 home runs in eight and a half seasons with the Cubs and made two NL All-Star teams.
However, if the Cubs have the intention of rebuilding the team, then they may choose to let Ramirez go as a free agent. They have a highly-rated farm system, including the Number 3 draft pick of 2007 in third baseman Josh Vitters(notes). They also have good young talent already on the roster in Starlin Castro(notes) and Darwin Barney(notes), and 2011 AAA MVP Bryan LaHair(notes) looks ready for the Major Leagues. A rebuilding may not take more than a year or two.
The Cubs also have millions of dollars committed to outfielder Alfonso Soriano(notes) and first baseman Carlos Pena. Even if the Cubs do not re-sign Pena, they will still owe him $5 million dollars in deferred salary. We do not know for certain what they will do with troubled pitcher Carlos Zambrano(notes), whom the Cubs restricted in August for walking out on his team and more. Zambrano's contract calls for $18 million for 2012.
On the other hand, should the Cubs decide to field a winning team, then Ramirez still fits in very well. He offers veteran leadership, and he has the experience of playing in pennant races and postseasons although he has not hit as well during the postseason. He is the most stable third baseman to play for the Cubs since Ron Santo in the '60s and early '70s. Ramirez combines power and average, and when healthy, he is among the most dangerous hitters in the league. He hits home runs in streaks and can get hot at any time. At age 33, he still has plenty of years in his career and plenty of pop left in his bat. If the Cubs do let Zambrano go, then they will have money available to add pitching.
Once the Cubs' management and new general manager (still unknown) decide the direction for the 2012 team, then they can make a solid judgment about Aramis Ramirez.
Baseball Reference, Aramis Ramirez, baseball-reference.com
Chicago Cubs, Aramis Ramirez, cubs.mlb.com.
Mark J. Miller, Marlins Aiming for Cubs' Ramirez, sports.yahoo.com.
Raymond grew up in Florida and began watching the Cubs on WGN in 1982. He became a fan in 1984 when Ryne Sandberg hit the two famous game-tying home runs off Cardinals closer and former Cub Bruce Sutter. Raymond then solidified his team loyalty when the Cubs won the division later that season and has been a fan ever since.
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