Cubs might lose Ramirez

October 31, 2011

(AP/Al Behrman)
Aramis Ramirez would be the best third baseman on the free agent market.

The Chicago Cubs may be losing third baseman Aramis Ramirez. The team offered him a $16 million dollar mutual option, but Ramirez says he wants to become a free agent.

Ramirez is 33 years old and has been with the Cubs for eight years. He just completed a five-year, $75 million dollar contract. Although he's reportedly told the Cubs he wants to be a free agent, he has until tomorrow night to finalize his decision. The Cubs have until 11:01 Wednesday night to exclusively negotiate with their own free agents.

If an agreement isn't reached by that point, Ramirez can then sign with any team, and the Cubs won't have to pay him a $2 million dollar buyout. If he leave the Cubs, Ramirez would be the top-rated third baseman up for grabs.

The decision on Ramirez was one of the first handled by new Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein.