The deal, as reported by Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald, ties the 29-year-old to Chicago until at least 2014, which buys out all of his arbitration years and first year of free agency. The Cuban Missile was set to make an outrageously low $2.875 million in 2010 before heading into arbitration. While he may earn a similar amount in 2011 with much of the salary coming in the latter years, he will earn an average annual value of $8.625 million over the four years, not including the club option.
Ramirez was perhaps the best shortstop in the AL, flashing good defense and a bat that put forth 18 home runs en route to a .282/.313/.431 line. And yes, that's plenty enough to put him in the conversation for best shortstop in the AL. If you want to see how he ranks among all shortstops, check back Wednesday when the Facts and Rumors team unveils the positional rankings for short. (First base was today.)
It's a fantastic signing for Chicago. They lock up one of the better performers at a position that is hard to come by these days for quality names (although some young players are starting to make waves there, like Cliff Pennington, Ian Desmond, Elvis Andrus and Starlin Castro) and do so at very reasonable dollars.
-- Evan Brunell