I heard ESPN Radio 1000′s Bruce Levine talking about the Cubs potentially moving Aramis Ramirez this winter for some younger players. Could this really happen?
Gimme a break – this is getting very ugly on the North Side. Bruce Levine who has some great sources inside the Cubs has already said that the Cubs cannot afford the kind of deal (3-years, $40 million) that free agent 1st baseman Adam Dunn will command on the open market this winter. Now, Levine has thrown out the idea that the Cubs could move their biggest run-producer – when healthy – to a team looking for a 3rd baseman (like the Boston Red Sox if they don’t re-sign Adrian Beltre) or potentially a Designated Hitter (like the Boston Red Sox when David Ortiz leaves after the 2011 MLB season). This is truly getting ridiculous.
I know the Cubs want to go young to try and build around Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin, Blake DeWitt and some of the other young pitchers that have had some share of success at the major league level. But to throw the season away before it even starts doesn’t make any sense to me. The NL Central is not the best division, so even with the mediocre team that the Cubs currently have, they could still make a run for the division title if some things fall into place. The Cardinals are 1-Chris Carpenter injury away from being in the middle of the pack. The way Dusty Baker works his starting rotation (see Mark Prior and Kerry Wood with the Cubs), we know that some of the talented, young Reds starters – Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, Travis Wood – could quickly end up on the DL or have down seasons because Baker overworked them in 2010. If either the Cards or Reds take a stepback, that opens the door for another team to squeeze to the top. It might not be the Cubs, but it could be.
Sure Ramirez has played in only a total of 206 games during the last 2 seasons combined, but he is still productive when in there. He had 25 HR’s and 83 RBI’s on one of the worst Cubs offensive teams in recent years. Plus, back in 2008 when he played in 149 games, Ramirez smacked 27 HR’s and drove in 111 runs with another 97 runs scored. Even at 33 years of age, the guy can still play and the Cubs will need him to be in the lineup if they expect to compete in 2011. If the Cubs do decide to move Ramirez this off-season, that would mean that the Cubs have officially packed it in for 2011 – that without even throwing a single pitch. And that would be a horrible message for the Ricketts Family to send to the Cubs players and its loyal Cubs fan base…