On second thought, Aramis Ramirez is staying with the Cubs

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Aramis Ramirez caused a minor stir yesterday by hinting that he might decline his $14.6 million player option for next season and become a free agent, which had many people wondering if he’s gone insane and no doubt had the Cubs praying it was true.
Ramirez has since clarified those comments, first telling Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times that he’s “leaning on” exercising the 2011 option and then simply saying: “I’m staying here. Put it that way.”
Not only can Ramirez guarantee himself $14.6 million for next season by accepting the 2011 option, he would also put the Cubs in position to pay a $2 million buyout rather than his $16 million option for 2012. In other words, by choosing free agency he’d be passing up $16.6 million in guaranteed money for one season, which would be crazy for a 33-year-old with a .748 OPS who’s having his worst season since 2002.

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.