Aramis Ramirez is having a heck of a season in Chicago. The slugging third baseman ranks near the top in home runs, RBI, batting average and WAR among those who man the hot corner. Ramirez was thought to be happy in Chicago, but after recent trades suggest the Cubs may be going into full rebuilding mode, there have been reports that he would consider waiving his no-trade clause to move to a contending team.
From a report in the Los Angeles Times:
Aramis Ramirez, reportedly among the hitters the Angels are pursuing, softened his stance on waiving his no-trade rights Thursday, increasing the likelihood of the Chicago Cubs third baseman being dealt before Sunday's non-waiver trade deadline.
"They come to me with a trade, we'll see. But no one has talked to me about it," Ramirez told reporters following the Cubs. "I understand this is a business. I don't know which way they want to go, and if they're looking to rebuild, I can't fit in. So we'll see."
There's no denying Ramirez's bat would be a big boost to the Angels' lineup on a nightly basis. Middle-of-the-order, right-handed third baseman that can hit like Ramirez can are hard to find. His contract could be an issue, though. From the same report:
Ramirez makes $14.6 million this season, and if he gets traded, his $16-million option for 2012 becomes guaranteed. But his agent, Paul Kinzer, has said that Ramirez would likely want his new club to drop the option so that he can become a free agent after this season.
Would Los Angeles be willing to deal a few prospects in return for a player that will make just under a million dollars per week for the rest of the season, just for him to leave after the year? It's something to consider. At the same time, though, adding a player such as Ramirez when the clubs sits just 1.5 games back of the division leading Texas Rangers could be a big enough boost to push the team over the top.
Stay tuned. It could be a busy next two and a half days for the Angels.