Perhaps it was getting swept out of Milwaukee and being on a team that managed four runs in a three-game series. Maybe it was the trading of Kosuke Fukudome. Whatever the catalyst, after weeks of telling anyone who would listen that he would not waive his no-trade clause earned by being a 10/5 player, Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez told the Chicago media that he now feels like he would certainly be okay with being sent packing.
This turnaround becomes ever more strange when you take into account that the reason Ramirez was saying he was not open to a trade was because he didn't want to leave his family. Why the team's losses, or his teammates being shopped off made his family become a less desirable group to be around is anybody's guess.
What is known is that if the Cubs do decide that they want to actively shop him, he probably becomes the most desirable player on the open market.
He got off to an absolutely dreadful start to the season that had many fans in Chicago wondering if his playing days were coming to an end. (He had just two home runs through the first two months of the season.) A-Ram, as he is affectionately known to Cubs fans, has bashed 17 home runs in the last two months (more than anyone in baseball over that span) and has posted an OPS of over 1.000 so far in July.
With Carlos Beltran off the market, thanks to his trade to the San Francisco Giants, there are plenty of teams who will be looking for a slugging third baseman or even designated hitter to help carry them to the playoffs.
The final question is whether the Cubs feel like they want to begin the post-Aramis era. Currently Chicago holds a team option for 2012, but that particular option will cost the team $16 million. Cubs GM Jim Hendry needs to decide if that price tag is affordable.