Aramis Ramirez Offered Arbitration By Cubs

By MJ Lloyd

In the grand scheme of things, the Cubs offering Aramis Ramirez arbitration doesn’t mean much. Ramirez isn’t one of the free agents that will require surrendering a first round draft pick. Probably. Details of the new CBA seem to drip out daily. Either way, Ramirez won’t be re-signing with the Cubs for 2012. You know, probably.

The slugging third baseman had a big rebound season in 2011 after a Cub-like disappointing 2010. Ramirez hit 26 home runs with a .306/.361/.510 slash line in 2011. He still hit 25 homers in 2010 but the .294 OBP was somewhere between Mark Trumbo and Jeff Mathis. Not a good neighborhood to be hanging out in.

The current assumption is that the Halos could use the upgrade at 3B but upon further review, I’m not so sure. Ramirez is, likely, out of the Angels price range after coming off a 5-year, $75 million deal, but they have been flirting with C.J. Wilson. It’s also a thin market for third baggers.

Incumbent 3B Alberto Callaspo registered the same 3.6 fWAR (Fangraphs wins above replacement) as Ramirez in 2011, largely because of his ability to field the position. Callaspo wasn’t poor at the plate either hitting .288/.366/.375 and leading the Halos in on base percentage. Yes, I realize leading the Angels in OBP wasn’t much of a challenge in 2011 but still…

Mike Scioscia is a big proponent of defense and Ramirez doesn’t fit that mold. Aside from 2007, Ramirez has posted some well below average defensive metrics according to UZR (ultimate zone rating). He’s also going to want some of that proverbial fat cash. Callaspo made $2 million in 2011 and is just heading to arbitration for his second time.

I say pass on Ramirez. That brings the total amount of free agents I’d sign (so far) to goose egg. Scott Boras disapproves.