Aramis says future with Cubs is in doubt

Aramis says future with Cubs is in doubt

Aramis says future with Cubs is in doubt
CHICAGO -- Aramis Ramirez may have played his last home game in a Cubs uniform on Tuesday.

The third baseman may test the free-agent market after this season if the Cubs don't pick up his $16 million option or offer him a multi-year deal. Whether he'll play again in the final seven games is yet to be determined, too. He had to leave Tuesday's game with a strained right quad, aggravated when he ran to first in the sixth inning against the Brewers. His status health-wise is day to day.

His status with the Cubs is the same. Was Tuesday his last home game with the team?

"Probably. There's a good chance," Ramirez said after the Cubs' 5-1 loss to the Brewers. "I'm a free agent, and right now I don't know what's going to happen. It looks like I'm going to hit the market."

He'd be the top third baseman available. Ramirez is batting .306 with 25 homers and 92 RBIs. He's been with the Cubs since July 2003, when acquired from the Pirates. He wants to stay in Chicago.

"I've been saying that all along, and it's no secret to anybody," Ramirez said. "It doesn't look that way right now. We haven't heard anything from the front office."

That's most likely because the Cubs' general manager's position is vacant following the dismissal last month of Jim Hendry. Ramirez said his agent, Paul Kinzer, was in Chicago but that he has not reached out to the Cubs front office.

"We don't have a GM, so I don't know who to talk to," Ramirez said.

Retirement doesn't appear to be a consideration for the 33-year-old infielder.

"I think I can play three, four more years," he said. "It's just a matter of being in the right situation and we'll see what happens."

Wednesday is the Cubs' final home game of the season.

"It's going to be different," Ramirez said. "It's going to be the first time that I don't know if I'm coming back. All the other times, I knew. I had my place here, I knew I'd have my locker here, the same locker at Wrigley Field. Next year, I don't know. It's going to be different."

Asked if he had reached out to talk to Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, Ramirez said no.

"My agent's in town, but we haven't heard from anybody," Ramirez said. "I think we're ready to move on."

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.