11/3 Ramirez expected back

Aramis Ramirez made it clear he wanted to stay in Chicago and has reportedly exercised his option for 2011. However, GM Jim Hendry, speaking to reporters 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. “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 had until midnight Thursday to decide whether he would stay with the Cubs, and if not, would become a free agent.

– Carrie Muskat

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