Chicago Cubs News

Red Sox Have Strong Interest In Aramis Ramirez

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Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez told reporters two weeks ago that he would be exercising his $14.6MM player option next year and return to the Chicago Cubs in 2011. However, Ramirez’s future with the club may have just gotten more gray. As Bruce Levine noted in his Chat this week that the Boston Red Sox are showing strong interest in Aramis Ramirez. For what it’s worth, Ramirez does have a full no trade clause.

It makes a lot of the sense for the Chicago Cubs to try to trade Aramis Ramirez, who struggled this year hitting .242/.295/.452 while still managing to hit 24 home runs and 79 RBI’s, and in his mid 30’s. Also this is the second consecutive year where Ramirez has battled injuries, that have kept him out a good portion of games. With the Chicago Cubs looking to get younger next season, Ramirez might not be a fit with the team.

Another reason why trading Ramirez may look so appealling  to the Cubs is because of the $14.6MM he will be making next season. More than likely the Chicago Cubs will have to take on most of it, if they want to a decent return for him. Plus, they could look to use whatever money they save from trading Ramirez on a free agent, perhaps added on to their expected offer to slugger Adam Dunn.

Looking at the Red Sox roster and their salaries, there really is no match for the Chicago Cubs needs. Meaning if they were to trade for Ramirez, they would probably look to acquire prospects. If that is the case, then I would not expect the Cubs to be on the hook for much of Ramirez’s 2011 salary.

By moving Ramirez, the Chicago Cubs would be creating another big hole on their infield to go along with the hole at first base. Looking at the potential free agent market for the third base position the Chicago Cubs could look at Jorge Cantu, Brandon Inge, or Juan Uribe. However, given the Chicago Cubs payroll position they may be forced to fill their wholes through trades.

The debate of whether or not to trade Ramirez depends on what the Chicago Cubs direction will be heading into the 2011 season. If they plan to contend, then there is a good chance Ramirez will be back with the Cubs. But, if they are entering a developmental phase, they may look to trade Ramirez this winter.

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