After weeks of talk that he’d use his no-trade clause to block any deal out of Chicago, Aramis Ramirez appeared to leave the door open for a deal on Thursday by saying “if they’re looking to rebuild, I can’t fit in, so we’ll see.”
On Friday, though, he removed any doubt about his desire to remain with the Cubs. According to Ramirez, he was asked what he wanted to do by GM Jim Hendry a couple of weeks ago and he said he wanted to stay. Hendry has respected that and declined to shop him.
While reiterating his preferance to remain a Cub, Ramirez didn’t rule out considering a deal if one was presented to him. However, he isn’t on the market at the moment, and the first thing he said to reporters tonight, according to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat, is that he isn’t going anywhere.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.