New Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein hinted earlier this month that Aramis Ramirez will likely be “moving on,” but the veteran third baseman’s agent said something much more definitive earlier today.
According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, Ramirez’s agent Paul Kinzer said “that ship has sailed” as far as his client re-signing with the Cubs.
Ramirez declined his portion of a $16 million mutual option with the Cubs late last month. The 33-year-old rebounded from a subpar 2010 season to hit .306/.361/.510 with 26 homers, 93 RBI and an .871 OPS over 626 plate appearances in 2011.
Kinzer told Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com that Ramirez is looking for either a four-year contract or a three-year deal with an option. When you consider that the alternatives among free agent third baseman include the likes of Wilson Betemit, Casey Blake, Eric Chavez, Mark DeRosa and Kevin Kouzmanoff, it’s not outrageous to think he could get the deal he wants.
Entering Thursday’s NLCS Game 5, Dodgers outfielder Enrique Hernandez had never hit a home run nor even driven in a run in the playoffs in his four-year career. He had homered twice in a regular season game just twice and his career-high for RBI in a game was four.
Hernandez hit three home runs and knocked in seven runs to help power the Dodgers past the Cubs 11-1 to win the National League pennant and punch their ticket to the World Series. His first homer was a solo homer to center field in the second inning off of starter Jose Quintana. He blasted a grand slam to right field off of Hector Rondon in the fourth, then tacked on a two-run blast in the ninth inning off of Mike Montgomery to make it 11-1.
Hernandez is the 10th player to hit three home runs in a postseason game. Jose Altuve, of course, did it two weeks ago in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Red Sox. Before Altuve, Pablo Sandoval (2012), Albert Pujols (2011), and Adrian Beltre (2011) were the last players to accomplish the feat. As Jayson Stark points out, Hernandez joins Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, Adam Kennedy, and Beltre as players to hit three homers in a series clincher.
Hernandez’s seven RBI set a new National League record for a postseason game. Only four other players — Troy O’Leary, John Valentin, Mo Vaughn, and Edgar Martinez — accomplished the feat.
No one has hit three home runs and knocked in seven-plus in a game… until Hernandez. He certainly picked a good time to break out.