Aramis Ramirez has been making quite a few headlines as he nears free agency.
Last week he told reporters he’ll be seeking a two- or three-year deal on the open market, earlier this week reports pegged the Marlins as one of his likely suitors, and last night the 34-year-old third baseman told Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com that he doesn’t expect to re-sign with the Cubs.
Right now, I don’t know what’s going to happen. But it looks like I’m going to hit the market. I don’t know what they want to do. We don’t have a GM, so I don’t know who you talk to. I think we’re ready to move on.
Ramirez left yesterday’s game with a quadriceps injury, so he may have played his final game at Wrigley Field as a member of the Cubs.
As a 34-year-old who probably should be playing first base Ramirez is unlikely to get another contract like his current five-year, $75 million deal, but he’ll be one of the best hitters on the market and has posted an OPS above .850 for the seventh time in the past eight years.
Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.
It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.
Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:
He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.
“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”
The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.