Chicago Cubs: Ranking the greatest players of the decade – #20-11

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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: No. 16: Aramis Ramirez

The trade for Aramis Ramirez from the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 2003 season has gone down as one of the best in Chicago Cubs history. Ramirez had a tremendous career in a Cubs uniform, and while the majority of his time with the team was in the previous decade, he still made an impact at the beginning of this one.

Ramirez only got into 124 games in 2010, yet he hit for power, slugging 25 home runs and driving in 83. It was the eighth time in his career that he reached those totals, including his seventh with the Cubs. Ramirez had a better year in 2011, hitting 26 home runs and driving in 93. He also posted an AVG/OBP/SLG line of .306/.361/.510, all up significantly from 2010. It was the sixth year of his career in which he batted at least .300.

The team didn’t bring Ramirez back after the 2011 season, as Theo Epstein took over and began his big rebuild. Ramirez signed with the Milwaukee Brewers and finished his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015. Ramirez certainly is the best third baseman the Cubs have had since Ron Santo – though if Kris Bryant hangs around long enough he may challenge that.