Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein stopped short of flat-out saying it, but it seems that the team is not planning on re-signing Aramis Ramirez.
"We certainly wish him well in the future," Epstein said. "I wouldn't rule anything out, but I would say that given his position as the top free-agent third baseman, it's certainly a likelihood that another team will make him a contract that appeals to him, and we will be looking for different solutions.
"But to sit here at the onset of free agency and rule anything completely in or completely out I don't think is productive. I think reading the tea leaves it seems likely that he will be moving on, and we will be looking for a new solution at third."
The Cubs picked up the option on Ramirez, who declined his portion of the $16 million mutual option - effectively making him a free agent. Now, Chicago can either pick up the option or pay Ramirez a $2 million buyouy in 2012.
Ramirez, 33, batted .306 with 26 homers ...