Ramirez, in a talent pool thin on shortstops, is among the best of the crop after hitting .282/.313/.431 with 18 home runs in 626 plate appearances and scoring well on defense.
Before the White Sox pick up the option, the two sides are expected to talk about a long-term deal.
"We're very willing to discuss that," agent Jaime Torres said. "If there is a person happy at being a Chicago White Sox, it is Alexei Ramirez."
Already 29, Ramirez is tied to the team via arbitration until after the 2013 season, so Ramirez doesn't have much to gain from waiting until free agency when he can lock into cost-certainty now. Given what he could lock in now in exchange for buying out the first year or two of free agency likely makes more sense for Ramirez, especially as his figure will rise prominently next season after options no longer tie into his deal.
UPDATE : SI.com 's Jon Heyman reports the White Sox will indeed pick up the option, although it probably won't become official immediately. It's a no-brainer.
-- Evan BrunellFor more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.