The Cubs have exercised the $16 million club option for Aramis Ramirez for the 2012 MLB season. Aramis Ramirez has already notified the Cubs that he plans to entertain free agent offers for the first time in his career, so the move was more of a smart procedural move by Theo & Co. The Cubs either had to pick up the option or buy Ramirez out for $2 million. By exercising the option, the Cubs would have had to offer Ramirez arbitration. But Ramirez has chosen to opt out of the option and seek a long-term deal from another team. The move saves the Cubs $2 million and also brings them a 2nd round pick in the 2012 draft from the team who signs Ramirez in free agency. The wheels to re-build the organization from the ground up are already churning.
Ramirez’s agent Paul Kinzer had this to say about Ramirez’s departure from Chicago: “We are very sorry that this era is coming to the end for Aramis and the Cubs. He loves Chicago and the fans. They’ve been great to him, but at this point it’s better that we check out the market and address free agency… At this point, Aramis is looking for a multiyear deal and looking forward to being a free agent for the first time in his career.”
Ramirez hit only .241 in 2010 due to injuries, but he bounced back with a solid 2011 campaign. He led the Cubs with his 93 RBI’s, .871 OPS and extra-base hits. and he was just one point behind Starlin Castro’s team-leading .307 batting average.
Now it’s up to Theo & Co. to get creative with the Cubs 3rd base hole for next year. Can’t wait to see these guys in action…