Ramirez not likely to leave Cubs in 2011

August, 19, 2010
8/19/10
1:43
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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[+] EnlargeAramis Ramirez
AP Photo/Jim PrischingAramis Ramirez is due $15 million next season.
Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez must feel like a castaway on a desert island after watching his teammate for the last seven years – Derrek Lee – get traded on Wednesday to the Atlanta Braves for three minor-league pitchers.

Ramirez was asked to evaluate the talent left on the team and whether the Cubs can be competitive again soon.

“I don’t know,” he said. “You have to ask Jim Hendry. I just play third base.

“I said before, I don’t know what kind of money the owners are going to spend. I don’t know if they’re going to go young or sign veterans. Only they know that.”

Ramirez was asked about the young talent on the Cubs and whether they’re ready to compete.

“Unless these [rookies] show Jim they can really get the job done it’s going to take money to sign players,” he said.

Ramirez, who has an option to become a free agent after this season, isn’t likely to ask out of a guaranteed deal that will pay him $15 million next season, and includes an option and buyout for 2012. Considering he’s struggling through his worst season, the chance Ramirez can get as lucrative a deal elsewhere is unrealistic.

“I’m planning to honor my contract,” he said. “I signed here, I took less money to stay here [the Angels offered more], I don’t want to go anywhere.

“At the same time, I want to win. I’m 32, I’m not 20, like [Starlin] Castro. He has a lot of time in front of him. I don’t know how much longer I want to play. We’ll see, we’ll see how things go.”

Ramirez wasn’t interested in my speculation that the team could ask him to play first base in the future.

“I never heard about that. I don’t think so,” he said when asked if he would be interested in the move.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jake Arrieta
WINS ERA SO IP
10 2.53 167 156
OTHER LEADERS
BAS. Castro .292
HRA. Rizzo 32
RBIA. Rizzo 78
RA. Rizzo 89
OPSA. Rizzo .913
ERAT. Wood 5.03
SOJ. Arrieta 167