This is a good thing for Cubs fans. Ownership will save the cost of the $2 buyout they would have owed had they turned down Ramirez’s option themselves, plus they can confidently offer arbitration knowing it will be turned down. Ramirez is a ‘B’ free agent, so they’ll collect a shiny draft pick in the sandwich round, and then can continue the rebuild by installing one of Lemahieu/Flaherty/Starlin Castro??!! at 3B.
Ramirez is banking on making more money in this contract than he would make if he made 16 million next year and then signed a deal. Since he’s unlikely to get a contract averaging 16 million, is he admitting in a way that his 2011 was a fluke? Is he fearful that he will decline in 2012 and would thus become a year-to-year 8-million-ish type player? If he had another good-great year in 2012 with the Cubs, he’d still get a really nice contract and he’d make 16 million in 2012.
Back to reality: I’d guess a team will probably give Ramirez 50 million over 4 years (I’d be praying it isn’t my team if I were you). If this is true, it means Ramirez thinks it is more likely than not he couldn’t get 3/34 next year, which to me is a safe bet but it should add to the list of reasons teams should think long and hard before signing Ramirez. He doesn’t even seem to believe in himself.
I guess it is technically a club option, but according to Cot’s Contacts, “if club exercises 2012 option, Ramirez may void and forfeit option”
Comment by gonfalon — September 22, 2011 @ 11:21 am
Whatever the specifics, some team is gonna regret that deal. He’s a terrible defensive 3Bman and has been getting worse the past couple years (check any defensive stat of your choosing). Add in age and injuries. When teams are deciding how much to offer him, they should consider him a 1Bman going forward.
Comment by Yirmiyahu — September 22, 2011 @ 11:23 am
Do not sign non-HOF quality 33-year-old third basemen to contracts! What big spenders are likely to do so, anyway? The Yanks have A-Rod, the Sawx have Youkilis, the Dodgers aren’t spenders any more, the Phillies only pay for pitching.
Oh, I know, the Cubs.
Comment by Bookbook — September 22, 2011 @ 11:57 am
Among other, non-major market teams, I’d say there’s not a lot of options, really. What I can think of:
a. The Marlins: With the team about to move into a new stadium, and the uncertainy at the position going forward(is Matt Dominguez ready, or will they try to re-sign Infante and put him there and put someone else at 2B, or possibly some other infield arrangement?), perhaps they could solidify the position by giving Ramirez a 3-year contract. But I’d say the odds are less than 20%
b. The Tigers: Sure, they still have Brandon Inge, but it wouldn’t be surprised if they give him another outright assignment and he refuses this time, and is granted free agency(he’d still get the rest of his money if he’s released or outrighted). Betemit is also a free agent, so it’s either keep Peralta at SS and get a 3B like Ramirez, or move Peralta to 3B and get a SS.
c. The Indians: Maybe a long shot, but Lonnie Chisenhall struggled enough that there might be some concerns about him. Perhaps they package Chisenhall in a trade after signing Ramirez? Just a thought.
Given everything that is known about A Ram’s situation (in the last 3rd of his career, coming off a good year, on a bad team in a bad organization, has already made 87 million, logically now wants to win a WS, has realized the Cubs are not eager to pick up his option), he decides to make a pre-emptive strike and decline the option.
Smart move. He doesn’t end up looking rejected by his team of the last 8 years, which may help his marketability. He maintains his pride. He comes off more as a guy who wants to win, instead of a guy who wanted to hang on to the possibility that a shitty team would pick up his option because he was afraid to see what he was worth to other teams.
The Brew Crew would be a good fit with Prince leaving.
ARam is horrendous at 3th base, so they could stick him at 1st instead of going to Mat “I don’t have the bat to play 1B but I don’t have the glove for 3B either” Gamel. Their farm system is empty and nobody’s ready to fill that position within the organisation.
It’s an idea worth considering, especially with Castro showing some power potential at 21. Add in that Barney’s glove and sub-.700 OPS would look much better at SS than 2B, and LeMahieu and Flaherty are more likely 2B than 3B or SS at the MLB level.
Ramirez might be an option for the Brewers, but I highly doubt it would be because McGehee moved to first. Even if 2010 wasn’t a terrible year for him, I don’t think he would profile very well at first.