With Major League Baseball’s free agency quickly approaching, we’re going to take a look at where Cubs’ third basemen Aramis Ramirez is likely to go, and then I’ll make my prediction on where he ends up. So without further wait, let’s get to the article!
Aramis Ramirez is going to be one of the more coveted free agents this offseason, and is expected to get some very nice offers from different teams around the league. There are three main teams that have already been in the discussion, and personally I believe those are going to be the only three teams in the running for him. The Florida Marlins, Los Angeles Angels, and Chicago Cubs have all expressed interest in signing the slugger. Ramirez is reportedly looking for a two or three year contract, and at his age it may be difficult to find teams willing to pay the kind of money he wants for that many seasons. I will now discuss the teams in the order that I believe are most likely to sign him, and why he’d be a good fit for them.
1. Chicago Cubs
Obviously he’s just finished up playing a complete season with the Cubs, and they’ve already expressed an interest in bringing him back. The hiring of Theo Epstein really helps Ramirez’s chances in my opinion, simply because he’s known for fielding winning players, and being able to give out solid deals that veterans are willing to accept. He played a major role in Chicago’s season this year, playing excellent defense at third base once again, and also swinging the bat exceptionally well as the season progressed. Not only is he one of the best, if not the best player on the Cubs’ roster, but he’s a huge fan favorite in Chicago as well. The fans are rooting for the Cubs to bring him back, and Aramis loves the city and fans as well.
Overall I think the Cubs have the best shot to sign Aramis, but they have to be willing to give that two or three year contract, and give him the cash he wants. They’ll need to make a decision about whether or not they’re going to start re-building, or whether they want to try to field a winning team right now before they make this decision.
2. Florida Marlins
Newly acquired Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen has already expressed interest in two Cubs players. Not only has he contacted Aramis Ramirez, but he’s contacted Carlos Zambrano as well. Both players are pretty good friends with the hot-headed manager, and are reportedly interested in heading to Miami to help out the “new-look” Marlins team try to turn their franchise around. One problem that I can see with this is that Aramis wants the best chance he can get to win right now. The Cubs aren’t that great of a team either, but they do have very good young pieces coming up that are expected to continue to improve into solid, winning pieces, while Florida does have some good assets in Hanley Ramirez (who has been going through major struggles lately), Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, and a couple more pieces.
Overall, I believe that the Marlins have the second best shot to sign Ramirez. They have to add a couple pieces that show him that they do want to win and compete this season, but once they do that he could be very, very interested in playing for the Marlins.
3. Los Angeles Angels
Thirdly, and finally we have the Angels. They’re a talented team, and maybe a player or two away from competing in the AL West. With a good pitching rotation, and solid bats, all they’re missing is one major slugger, and another solid arm for that already solid rotation. Aramis would fit the first job opening. He’d basically be doing exactly what he did with the Cubs, and just swinging the bat as hard as he possibly can trying to get some pop into that lineup. I don’t really see him heading to the Angels simply because they don’t have that “excitement” factor that the other two clubs have. Sure, they’re a solid franchise, but Aramis has always enjoyed being in the spotlight. Out in L.A. he’d just be another baseball player, and unless he blew people away with his bat, wouldn’t get very much recognition.
The Angels have the third best opportunity to sign him, but in my opinion they are a last resort if no other teams are willing to offer multi-year deals with the kind of money he is looking for. Would they be a good fit for him? Probably, but the fact that he couldn’t be a #1 or #2 player for them would turn him off to the idea I believe.
It’s going to come down to the Cubs and Marlins, and I have him heading back to the friendly confines of Wrigley Field to continue play for the Chicago Cubs. He’s got a great thing going there with the fans, and his teammates, and with Theo in Chicago now, I believe that he’ll see that as a very solid move towards improvement. Will he need to see a couple solid players land in Chicago before he agrees to a deal there? Yes, but Epstein is going to go out and get that done. He’ll be a Chicago Cub next season.