RAMIREZ, WOOD STILL CUBS
So Aramis Ramirez and Kerry Wood are still Cubs. I wonder how all of Cubdom feels about this.
Cubs fans can lament about Ramirez’ injuries, his mopey, I don’t care look and the fact that when D Lee went down last year he was a colossal flop. But he’s still one of the best 3rd Basemen in MLB.
“Aramis Ramirez was supposedly asking for “Beltran money” (the new gold standard for top-of-the-market hitters) if he didn’t re-sign with the Cubs. And if we believe the market was likely to provide that salary to Ramirez, then the Cubs got themselves an outstanding hitter at a good 20-percent discount.”
Ramirez didn’t completely mail it in last year, even after the Cubs were doomed to a terrible finish. He ended up with career highs for HRs (38), RBI (119) and batted .291/.352/.561. And the knocks on his defense are old news. He is a solid defender at 3rd–if not above-average.
In his 3 full seasons with the Cubs, Ramirez has hit 31 or more HRs and has had OPS of .951, .926 and .913. Teams that have a moribund offense like the Cubs can’t afford to discard hitters like this. This is a great move by Hendry.
As for Wood, should he continue his practice of battling Mark Prior for the league lead in simulated games, it will be the least painful of all his seasons. Why? Because he will make only $1.75 million, and no one is counting on him for anything.
As tired of Wood as most Cub fans are–including myself–it could turn out to be a great move. If he succeeds and the Cubs flop Hendry can deal him for something of worth. He still may turn out to be a great closer. But I know that Wood is like a scratch lottery ticket where the first 2 revelations match. You always hope for the 3rd one for a big win but it never happens.
But chalk up 2 good moves for Hendry. It’s not like either of these moves prevent the Cubs from doing anything else.