Deal or no deal? Cubs' Ramirez seeks six-year contract
By Jerry CrasnickESPN.com
Third baseman Aramis Ramirez took advantage of an out clause in his contract to walk away from the two years and $22.5 million still owed him by the Chicago Cubs.
He'll be looking for a considerably longer, more generous commitment in his next deal.
Agent Paul Kinzer told ESPN.com it will take a six-year deal for a team to sign Ramirez once the Cubs' negotiating window expires this weekend and the third baseman hits the open market.
"If we go out, we're going to look for six years," Kinzer said Friday. "I'm pretty confident it would go there. Aramis is only 28 years old, and that puts him in his prime."
Free agent outfielder Alfonso Soriano is reportedly seeking a deal similar to Carlos Beltran's seven-year, $119 million contract with the Mets. When asked if the total dollar figure for a six-year deal for Ramirez could approach $100 million, Kinzer replied, "That's a good assumption -- hypothetically speaking."
Ramirez has averaged 35 homers and 105 RBI over the past three seasons in Chicago. Halfway through a four-year, $42 million contract, he exercised his right to void the final two years and become a free agent.
The Cubs, looking to improve upon their 66-96 record under new manager Lou Piniella, have expressed a strong interest in keeping Ramirez. It's believed that the club has discussed a five-year contract in discussions with Kinzer.
Chicago general manager Jim Hendry met with Kinzer on Thursday night in Arizona, and it appeared likely the two sides would speak again Friday. But Kinzer wasn't optimistic about Ramirez re-signing with the Cubs before the team's exclusive negotiating window runs out Saturday night.
"We're running out of time to get it done before then," said Kinzer, who plans to travel to the general managers' meetings in Naples, Fla., and begin discussions with other clubs Sunday. Several baseball sources said the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will make a strong push for Ramirez.
Seriously give him the 6 years 80 million.. we dont need a gap at 3rd along with needing 3 pitchers and a person in cf.. but if all else fails and he just doesnt want to stay in chicago then so be it. us cubs fans will be in a uproar but we will get over it cuz were use to disappointment. we will move on and create creative ways to get tejeada or arod to play 3rd.. or make scott more the next ron santo.. cuz thats what we do, and thats why we are cub fans