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Aramis Ramirez Declines Option, Set To Hit Free Agency

No surprise here as third baseman Aramis Ramirez declined his half of the $16 million mutual option for 2012 with the Chicago Cubs, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, and is now set to hit the open market. 

The Cubs will save $2 million from the buyout, as they exercised their half of the mutual option, and now Ramirez will be looking to land a multi-year deal somewhere.

While $16 million sure is a lot of money, Ramirez has given indications he will test the open market for some time now in lure of a multi-year deal. He won't have to worry about competition either, as Ramirez is irrefutably the top dog among third basemen available in free agency. Thanks to supply and demand, Ramirez shouldn't have trouble getting a contract of his desire.

Among suitors will be the soon-to-be Miami Marlins, a team looking to add payroll and offense. The Los Angeles Angels desperately need offense, too, but will they be willing to add a player at the risk of their run prevention? 

The 33-year-old Ramirez hit .306/.361/.510 with 26 homers and 35 doubles in 626 plate appearances this season.