With the season just one day from being over, Alexei Ramirez is starting to realize that this may be his last season on the South Side.
The White Sox shortstop is entering the offseason with the fate of his future with the team in the front office's hands. Ramirez, 34, has a $10 million club option for 2016 or a $1 million buyout.
Ramirez claims he has not yet talked with the front office about his upcoming contract situation.
"I’m just focusing on my game," Ramirez said through a translator. "I don’t want to think ahead of that. I’ll see what happens after tomorrow. I’m just focusing on my game every day."
2015 has not been kind to Ramirez, who could post career low numbers in a handful of categories: home runs (10), batting average (.250), OPS (.645) and WAR (1.1). These numbers in addition to the eventual promotion of Tim Anderson and the position flexibility of Tyler Saladino put Ramirez and the organization in a difficult spot.
"We didn’t accomplish our goal," Ramirez said "It was to get into the playoffs. When you don’t accomplish your goal, it’s not a good season. While you can get stuck thinking about it, you have to think about the future and what you have to do to be a better team next year."
White Sox GM Rick Hahn made his first organizational change when the team dismissed bench coach Mark Parent. While Hahn admitted the coaching staff will largely return after Parent's departure, he envisions roster changes this offseason, and Ramirez's unclear future gives the veteran a feeling he's not used to entering the upcoming weeks.
"Yes it’s kind of tough because I’ve been here for eight years, and I like this team," Ramirez said. "I like all the people that work here. They’re like a family. I don’t want to even think about being on another team. I want to be here. I want to finish my career here."
Another unusual part of Ramirez's offseason will be his family trip back home to Cuba. The shortstop hasn't been home in eight years (since he signed with the White Sox) and is unsure of what his experience will be like coming home.
"I’m very anxious about it because I don’t know what to expect," Ramirez said. "I don’t know how the people there will receive me. It’s good and I’m excited. But at the same time, I’m anxious because I don’t know what is going on there.
"From the moment I’m going to be in the plane, I’m going to be very excited. I don’t know how to describe it right now because I have to live in the moment but it’s going to be very emotional."