Monday, April 4, 2005
Cubs ink 3B Ramirez to four-year, $44 million deal
PHOENIX - Aramis Ramirez, one of the keys to Chicago
Cubs' chances in 2005, Monday agreed to terms on a four-year,
contract extension that could be worth up to $44 million.
Ramirez, who was 10th in the National League Most Valuable
Player voting last season, was slated to make $8.95 million this
season and would have been eligible for free agency in
His new deal also includes an $11 million vesting option for
2010, if he appears in 270 games between 2008-09. The third
baseman also has a clause that allows him to option out of the
contract after the 2006 season.
"I want to be a Cub for the rest of my life," Ramirez said.
"That is why I signed here. I made a lot of mistakes when I was
young. I came to the majors when I was 19 years old ... I have
learned a lot."
The 26-year-old Ramirez hit .318 with 36 homers and 103 RBIs in
547 at-bats last season. He is a career .273 hitter with 127
homers and 458 RBIs in parts of seven seasons.
"He is a vastly improved defender and he is blossoming into a
better player," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "He is at
the age where players elevate themselves and go on to do better
things. He is one of the best righthanded hitters in baseball
right now and is a tremendous breaking ball hitter, which is
extremely hard to find."