Ramirez exercises his option to stay with Cubs

Ramirez exercises his option to stay with Cubs

CHICAGO -- Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez made it clear he wanted to stay in Chicago and has reportedly exercised his option for 2011.

However, Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, speaking to reporters on Wednesday, said he had yet to get the official word from the third baseman or his agent, Paul Kinzler.

"Aramis and I have always had a good relationship," Hendry said Wednesday from Mesa, Ariz., where he was meeting with staff for organizational meetings. "He told me a few times near the end of the season that he would be back."

Hendry said he'd heard the reports that Ramirez had completed the paperwork but the Cubs general manager had yet to receive it. The only surprise would be if Ramirez didn't return.

"We never even gave it a thought -- there was never a discussion from his camp that he was not coming back," Hendry said.

Ramirez will be paid $14.6 million next year, boosting the total the Cubs are already committed to in player salaries for 2011 to $103 million. He has until midnight Thursday to decide whether he would stay with the Cubs, and if not, would become a free agent.

The third baseman batted .241 with 21 doubles, 25 homers and 83 RBIs in an injury-filled 2010 season, hitting just .162 in the first two months of the year. It's the second straight year and third time in the past six seasons that Ramirez hasn't reached 100 RBIs.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.