According to Bruce Levine, Aramis Ramirez's 2012 option does NOT kick in if traded, he merely gets a $1 mil relocation bonus:
"Contrary to what has been widely reported about Ramirez’s contract, there is not an option year that kicks in if he’s traded. Here’s the thumbnail sketch of Ramirez’s contract. He has roughly $7 million left in salary for 2011. He, as well as the Cubs, hold an option for 2012 at $16 million dollars. If the team doesn’t exercise its option, Ramirez is owed $2 million as a buyout. If he’s traded to another team, Ramirez receives a $1 million relocation bonus."
If true this is potentially huge news. The only thing that would stand in their way oof moving him is getting him to accept a deal--no small shortcoming considering his...um, motivation issues. However, if he is truely a 3 month rental he immediately joins Carlos Beltran as the only premier position players available on the market, and he plays a more premium position. But what could the Cubs expect?
The Mets are reportedly seeking a top prospect for Beltran. Since Ramiez plays a more in-demand defensive position and the Cubs could conceivably pay his remaining 2011 salary, I'd say their values are at least comparable. That means Hendry could ask for a team's top 5 prospect in return.
Teams in need of a 3rd baseman:
1. Yankees. They lost A-Rod for awhile, and he and Ramirez could play a 3rd base/DH platoon.
Manny Banuelos is a small, hard-throwing lefty starter that could join the rotation anytime. Austin Romine would be a nice partner for Soto, and Betances has near-TOR potential. Any of those 3 would be a nice get for Ramiez. Montero isn't really a fit for us and probably isn't a realistic target, and Sanchez is too far away for a franchise trying to build on the run.
Jacob Turner is a stud but he might have too much value.