Aramis Ramirez plans to exercise $14.6 million option for 2011

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Asked yesterday whether he plans to remain with the Cubs next season by exercising his $14.6 million player option, Aramis Ramirez said:

I want to stay here, but I’ve still got two months. I haven’t talked to my agent about it. But everybody knows I want to stay here. I guess I’m staying here.

Ramirez has been on fire lately, but a brutal start to the season thanks to a wrist injury leaves him with a career-worst .230/.286/.438 line in 73 games overall. In other words, staying with the Cubs for $14.6 million next season is a no-brainer for the 32-year-old.
His contract also includes a $16 million mutual option for 2012 that the Cubs can buy out of for $2 million, so by exercising next year’s $14.6 million option Ramirez would essentially be guaranteeing himself at least $16.6 million.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.

Royals sign Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 02:  Starting pitcher Danny Duffy #41 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on September 2, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Kansas City Royals have signed starter Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension.

Duffy was arbitration eligible this offseason and would’ve been a free agent next winter if he hadn’t signed the deal. Given his stuff he might’ve made a mint as a free agent, but he’s also been inconsistent at times and any pitcher is an injury away from losing a payday, making this a nice, lucrative bet for the lefty.

Duffy, 28, posted a 3.51 ERA and a 188/42 K/BB ratio across 179.2 innings in 2016.