The White Sox have declined their $10 million club option on shortstop Alexei Ramirez and will instead pay him a $1 million buyout, according to a team announcement. According to one source familiar with the talks, the window has not been closed for a reunion between the sides at some point in free agency.
Ramirez, 34, will hit free agency for the first time in his career after spending eight seasons as the White Sox' primary shortstop. He joins a weak class of free agent shortstops that includes Ian Desmond as its primary option, with Asdrubal Cabrera and Stephen Drew among the other available options for clubs. Multiple teams are likely to pursue help at shortstop this winter, with the Yankees and Padres among the clubs that could look to add a veteran like Ramirez.
In eight seasons with the White Sox, Ramirez has hit .273/.310/.399 with 109 home runs and 542 RBI, but declining production over the last couple of seasons likely led to the decision to decline the option. Chicago is likely to install Tyler Saladino as a temporary option at the position before top prospect Tim Anderson takes over at some point in the next couple seasons.
For the latest on all option decisions, be sure to check out our options tracker.