When Aramis Ramirez first signed his contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, there were plenty of eyebrows raised. Although he made only $6 million in the first year, the final two seasons of a combined $26 million seemed extreme for the small market Brewers, especially for a player who appeared to be nearing the end of his career as the contract finished. The $14 million mutual option for 2015 looked like something that would never even be a thought.
But in his time in Milwaukee, Ramirez has exceeded all expectations. Although he struggled through a knee injury and played hurt when he was on the field last season, Ramirez has proved that he has plenty left in the tank this season. Not only is he excelling at the plate, where he as batted .298 with 15 home runs, but he is proving to be as strong as ever in the field.
While he may not have the range he once had early in his career, he makes all of the routine play and is able to make bare-hand plays as good as anyone in the league.
Leading up to the upcoming winter, the corner infield positions are the strongest areas of need for the Brewers. Although it is a pricey option, the Brewers definitely need to consider bringing Ramirez back for next year and beyond. Prospect Jason Rogers has moved from first to third in the minor leagues and has hit at every level, but he cannot be counted on to replace Ramirez’s production both at the plate and in the field.
Over the next few seasons, he should not only eclipse 2,500 career hits, but also 400 career home runs. As his age continues to climb, the 36-year-old Ramirez still remains one of the elite third basemen in the game today. Each time he is in the lineup, he makes the team stronger with his gap power potential.
Ramirez stated that he hopes to play a few more seasons, and the Brewers need to do anything in their power to make those years happen in Milwaukee.
Pete is a Milwaukee Brewers writer for Rantsports. Follow him @schwick26_pete, like him on Facebook or add him to your Google Network.