Alexei Ramirez opts out of contract

Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez has opted out of his $1.1 million contract, a move that will force the team's hand into giving him a $1.4 million raise for 2011.

The Silver Slugger Award winner, considered among the rising stars at shortstop in the game, batted .282 with 18 home runs and 70 RBIs this past season. He also was considered among the favorites to win a Gold Glove, with the award going to the New York Yankees' Derek Jeter instead.

The White Sox have a week to exercise a $2.75 million option to retain Ramirez for the 2011 season. They are expected to do so. There also is the possibility of a long-term extension, because Ramirez's continued production would only drive up his value.

Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.