New Cubs president Theo Epstein announced Monday that he’s going to replace Aramis Ramirez in the lineup with a giant pile of some of the cash the team will be saving should they lose the third baseman to free agency this winter.

“It’s an uncharacteristic move, sure,” said Epstein. “But I didn’t get where I am today by always going by the book.”

Sunday night the Cubs announced they picked up the $16 million mutual option with Ramirez for 2012, but sources are indicating he will decline it, making him a free agent. Some of the money will be used to shore up the lineup, rotation and bullpen, while a large portion of the cash will be used to physically replace Ramirez’s presence in the lineup.

“Do you have any idea how big a $5 million pile of $100 bills is?” asked Epstein. “It’s huge. A pile of cash doesn’t have a lot of range in the field, but neither does Aramis these days.”

Epstein said he doesn’t anticipate a huge drawback to replacing Ramirez on the team with an inanimate object.

“Sure a pile of cash won’t hit 30 mostly meaningless homers, but there are positives,” said Epstein. “But people really love being around a pile of cash, so unlike Aramis, I think the pile will have a positive presence in the clubhouse.”