Bon Voyage: Aramis Ramirez Will Sign with the Milwaukee Brewers

This may well be the last post at Bleacher Nation dedicated to Aramis Ramirez. Unless, that is, he does something worthy of Brewenfreude.

Today, Aramis Ramirez is expected to sign a three year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, who hope to replace some of the middle-of-the-order production they expect to lose when Prince Fielder jets, and might lose if/when Ryan Braun sits 50 games next year. The Cubs were never really a threat to re-sign Ramirez after new management took over. Indeed, when asked about the possibility of Ramirez returning to the Cubs in 2012, Ramirez’s agent said, “That ship has sailed.”

So, bon voyage it is, Aramis. Thanks again for some great years and great memories. Good luck(ish) with the Brewers, but not when you play the Cubs. Or when you’re competing for a division title. Or, well, pretty much any other time that it could theoretically impact the Cubs.

With Ramirez’s contract expected to be in the $10 to $12 million per year range, you can expect that the move closes the door on Prince Fielder returning to the Brewers, thus removing one possible (re-)landing spot from his choices. What the Brewers plan to do with current third baseman, Casey McGehee is unknown, though it’s likely they’ll either move him across the diamond to first base, or try to flip him in trade. It’s also possible McGehee could be non-tendered later today (which would explain why the Brewers pulled the trigger on Ramirez today – they needed to know if they were in the clear to let McGehee go).

The Cubs will now officially get a compensatory draft pick in 2012 (between the first and second round) for Ramirez.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

63 responses to “Bon Voyage: Aramis Ramirez Will Sign with the Milwaukee Brewers”

  1. Sam

    Maybe the Cubs could sign McGehee and then move Stewart to 2B. That opens the door for trading DeWitt, Barney or Baker.

    1. MoneyBoy

      There’s a reason Jerry Hairston, Jr. played 3rd for the PooCrew during the playoffs – the same reason Theriot didn’t play much … way too many errors by MacGhee.

  2. BD

    Don’t let the door hit ya….

  3. Ashley

    I have always loved Rami but it was his time to go! Sucks he went to a division rival but they are going to nee help with the Braun suspension. Be interested in what they do with Casey McGehee.

    1. Cubbie Blues

      McGehee’s WAR was down to .3 last year. K & BB rate was steady but his BABIP was way down (.249) which could account for losing some of his 3 WARs. His OPS was also down by .175 from 2010 to 2011. You could sign him expecting a bounce back but how many players are you going to take expecting them all to bounce back.

  4. Spencer
  5. SirCub

    Wish he would’ve gone somewhere that I could secretly root for him when I check the box scores. As it is, Aramis, I am sure that you are a decent human being, but I hope you die like a dog.

    1. Wilbur

      Sir Cub certainly covered a range of emotions on that one …

  6. clark addison

    McGehee is a butcher in the field and the league seems to have figured him out.

    As for Aram, if he stays healthy he’ll be a force in Milwaukee, at least for the first couple of years. Good move for him, but he had no place with the Cubs any more.

    1. Spencer

      I don’t understand the sentiment that many people have that “he didn’t have a place with the Cubs anymore”. Why not? Is it the money? A 10 million dollar contract for a guy who hit over .300 and had 26 HRs and 93 RBIs looks like a steal to me. Also, it’s not as if he is “blocking” anyone. The Cubs don’t have a ready made 3B waiting in the wings in the minors. The knocks on Ramirez are that he’s a defensive liability (true, I guess), and the fact that some people don’t perceive him as a “leader” or someone that hustles on every play. As to the latter, NO ONE knows what goes on inside the clubhouse, and NO ONE knows what kind of a teammate Ramirez is except for the coaches and the other 24 players in that locker room. To me, it looks like the Cubs gave up on Ramirez because he was bad at defense and that’s it. I would’ve loved to have his bat in the middle of the lineup for $10 million a year. Instead, we now have a guy who is coming off a wrist injury to fill that gap. Anyone think Stewart is gonna have a 25 homer 100 rbi season? Didn’t think so.

      1. ottoCub

        I agree with your comment that $10-12 million is a good bargain for a hitter like Ramirez. But the Cubs have decided that he likely won’t be this sort of hitter in 3 years, that’s why they only offered him a 1-year deal.

        And you’ve given yourself the answer to the leadership issue in the second half of your comment: “NO ONE knows what kind of a teammate Ramirez is except for the coaches and the other 24 players in that locker room”. You’re right. None of us fans know what happens in the clubhouse. But the players do. And the coaches do. And I’m confident this new front office did their research, talking to these sources, when they decided that ARam is not a good fit for the Cubs.

        I wish Aramis well in Milwaukee. Its a good choice for him. The roof may help him start faster in the Spring, and Milwaukee is close to his second home in Chicago. The Brewers have a good fielding shortstop now (Alex Gonzalez) which might help ARam’s defense.

        1. Spencer

          They offered him arbitration (which, if he accepted, would’ve paid him way more than 10 million) so they could get a compensatory pick, not because they thought he was going to be a bad hitter in three years.

          To your second point: The players have nothing to do with the decision making process. So even if the front office sat down and interviewed each player about Aramis Ramirez, their opinion is negligible.
          Next, coaches. All new coaches this season (mostly), so none of them know what Ramirez is like either, so how could they possibly say he isn’t a good fit?

          Finally the front office. I guess this is the most compelling argument and obviously they decided he wasn’t a good fit, and the only conceivable reason would be because he’s a defensive liability. So if everyone is okay with having Stewart play third and marginally update the position defensively and severely regress the position offensively, then I say good move front office. Otherwise, they let him walk away and sign with a rival for a discount. Shame.

      2. Kyle

        You don’t pay for past performance.

        Yes, his offensive numbers were nice last year. But that’s the only year in the last three he’s done that. And his defense has fallen off a cliff, as has his baserunning. That doesn’t overwhelm his offensive value, but it does diminish it.

        I don’t think I’d do 3/$36 if I were the Cubs. Maybe 3/$30. He’s probably not quite going to be worth $36 over the next three years. A team like the Brewers, who are right in that 85-95 win sweetspot where marginal wins are huge, and who have a closing window of opportunity, probably need a deal like that a lot more.

      3. Luke

        Ian Stewart had 25 HR and 70 RBIs in 2009. If he’s healthy all season and the Cubs correct the mechanical issue in his swing that they have talked about a few times, I don’t think 25 HR / 100 RBIs is out of the question, depending on where he is hitting in the lineup.

        1. Kyle

          So if injuries don’t matter, and moving from Colorado doesn’t matter, and we make him better as a player, and he still does better than he’s ever done at any point in the majors, he can be pretty good.

          That’s a pretty lenient standard to apply to a player.

          1. Luke

            I think your overstating the effect of leaving Colorado. His home / road split do not support the idea that his value is inflated by the Colorado effect. The Brewers, for instance, had more significant home/road splits than did Stewart. In the humidor era, Colorado’s stadium has had a significantly different effect than prior to the humidor era. I don’t think the stats back up the idea that his production was inflated by his home ballpark.

            Also, he had to pass a physical before joining the Cubs. If the Cubs front office have a fraction of the intelligence they are given credit for, they would have been focusing on the injured wrist and how well its recovered. If we know that players who suffer injuries in that area tend to show a drop in power following the injury, I am dead certain that the Cubs front office knows it. And yet for some reason Jed refers to him as the team’s third baseman. To me, that strongly suggests the Cubs believe the medical records and the physicals indicate that he should hit for enough power to play third. Until we start to get some numbers on him, or until people are actually able to see him swinging in spring training, that’s the best evidence we have.

            All I said was that 25/100 is not out of the question. It is at the extreme high end of his range, but I maintain that it isn’t out of the question. I think he’s more likely to be the left bat of a platoon that might combine for 20-25 HR and 80+ RBIs, but I’m perfectly happy to admit that he could do better than that.

            Personally, I’d rather see him at second while the team continues to look for a third baseman. As a third baseman, I don’t see him holding off Vitters or Lake much past 2012 anyway.

        2. Deer

          I’m surprised Theo/Jed brought up the mechanical swing issue. That’s such a Hendry type move. As if Theo/Jed are all-knowing and the Rockies are run by a bunch of baboons. gimme a break

          1. hansman1982

            I think it is just possible that the Rockies and Cubs may have a difference of opinion in the most optimal way for Stewart to swing the bat.

        3. hardtop

          i dont think its out of the question either… if those are his combined numbers over 2 or 3 seasons ;)

          love your optimism luke, i hope you’re right.  my guess, he’ll be playing elsewhere (like AAA) before the 2012 season has concluded.

          1. Luke

            Interesting. I said that 25/100 isn’t out the question and I seem to have been interpreted to say that 25/100 is absolutely guaranteed.

            I am not predicting anything of that nature for Stewart. I think his bat looks much better at second than at third, and I’m not sure he’s more than a platoon guy even then. But I’m not going to deny the possibility that he could have a rebound year and return to his 2009 / 2010 form. If he does, and if he regularly bats in a position in the lineup where there are runners on base ahead of him, and if he has some protection at the plate, then there no reason he can’t hit those numbers. I don’t think he will, but I’ll concede the possibility.

      4. hansman1982

        At 33 he is past his prime and will begin to drop off.  His slow starts have been getting worse and worse, his defense is atrocious and will only get worse.  This was a great opportunity to get something for the future with Ramirez and move on to a younger, more defense orientated team.

        The game of baseball is moving past the long ball, more and more teams are gearing up towards speed and defense, neither of which Ramirez provided.  This is the Cubs opportunity to move in the right direction.  It will suck not having him at the 4-hole next year but that shoulder dislocation is going to start taking its toll.

        There comes a time where you just have to move on.

      5. CubSouth

        Aram is good for $10-12 mil next yr but he is also injury prone, bad on defense and is slow on the bases. Like Brett said, Wrigley is more about speed because the wind blows in more than not and u already have Soriano and Soto clogging the bases. If the team was built different then I would be happy with the Cubs paying him what he got but its not and they wont. I’m more inclined to try out Stewart and pray for Headley and hopefully get a big bat at first.

      6. nonesuch

        I would add that the option year of $16 Aram turned down plus he nixed any midseason trade so he could go get paid as a FA.  When Aramis went on the market, crickets could be heard and the Brewers have signed him as a consolation prize.  After the candyman left (Hendry) Aramis wasn’t going to settle for $11 million for the Cubs for 3 years when his production will only decline.  We’ve gone seperate ways and it’s best for both parties.

      7. Alex

        Oh, I don’t know, maybe it’s because people are tired of watching ARam play like hot garbage when the Cubs needed his production early in the season the last couple of years. There was nothing more frustrating than watching him pad his stats after the Cubs were out of contention.

        2011 – 2 HR’s by June 7th – Record 23-36 – 12.5 GB

        2010 – Under .200 batting avg until July 9th – Record 38-49 – 10.5 GB

        It’s only more woeful to remember how badly he choked in the playoffs the last two times the Cubs were in.

        2008 Playoffs – .000, 0 HR, 0 RBI

        2007 Playoffs – .182 avg, 0 HR, 0 RBI

        Couple his stats with his lazy approach to the game, his deteriorating play in the field and his stats first attitude. It’s easy for me to see why the sentiment that many people have that “he didn’t have a place with the Cubs anymore”

        Anyone think ARam will be a clutch hitter for the Brewers when they need him the most? Didn’t think so.

        1. fearbobafett

          I was just about to comment to this exact same thing until i read yours. Obviously i couldn’t agree more.

          1. ferrets_bueller

            Make that a plus three. I have no place for lazy players.

        2. oso

          He’s a bum. I’m glad he’s gone. I’d rather watch Baker and Stewart platoon at third.

  7. JMike

    As much as I like Rami…it wouldnt bother me any if he got hit by the first pitch that he sees against the Cubs…or a Prince/Rami swap would do it for me to…

    1. Deer

      Why would he get hit? How did he wrong the Cubs?

  8. Fishin Phil

    Thanks for the good memories Aramis.  I hope you enjoy plenty of brats and beer in your declining years.

    1. Wilbur

      Phil, that’s what I’m doing now …

  9. rocky8263

    Cub fans will “Mark Derosa” Ramirez on his first visit to Wrigley. I hope it ends there. It will be. strange to see him in Brewers garb. I really admired Ramirez but I do hope he acquires a taste for sausage.

  10. MightyBear

    I always defended Ramirez but he lost me at the trade deadline this year. Why wouldn’t you accept a trade to a contender for 3 months and come back if you really want to be a Cub? Because you care more about yourself than winning. I don’t want those players on the Cubs. Anyone who would rather sit on a 5th place club instead of oking a trade to a contender is a loser.

  11. Andrewmoore4isu

    I love this move. Strengthens the cubs and weakens the brewers. Good move Theo/Jed. Wow they really are friggin geniuses

    1. hardtop

      wait, that sarcasm right?  thed did nothing except not sign a 33 yr. old free agent.  they had no idea where aramis would end up.

      1. Andrewmoore4isu

        yes sarcasm, very good.

        1. matt3

          jim hendry alert

          1. ferrets_bueller

            Jim Hendry, alert? Never. Unless, of course, there were donuts or past production involved.

  12. Bluball

    Aramis was a joy to watch and I wish him the very best in Milwaukee!

  13. Cubmig

    I liked Aramis, and have, nor hold any ill will towards his decision to leave. It was time. He knew it, we knew it.

    The one thing that always had me sitting on the edge of my chair this past season, when I watched him handle grounders (especially double-play ones), was the “hesitation pump” before getting rid of the ball. It was almost like he was over-thinking getting the ball to 2nd and aiming rather than following his developed baseball instinct. Aramis was a damn good 3Bman early on, but now with a lot and wear-and-tear—-? I don’t know. Was he losing confidence? Was he compensating for some physical wear-and-tear that was now showing up? What else don’t we know that made it risky to keep him on? Nobody is at fault for his not staying. It was time to leave; and it was a good time for Aramis to leave. He made a slow, bad 2010 start end up nicely for him. Though it’s strictly a guess, my personal view is Aramis played to market himself for free agency once he knew his time with the Cubs was at an end. I wish him well.

  14. MightyBear

    I read Gorzelanny may be non tendered. Anybody think he could come back and be one of our 9 starters? Anybody? Beuler? Beuler?

    1. ferrets_bueller

      Personally, I think he could contribute. Would make nice depth, if only for the fact that it might prevent Coleman or Lopez from ever making another start…

      …no way i could resist responding to this, lmao.

  15. die hard

    If Stewart can cover more ground to his left than Aram, will then allow Castro to play more towards second. Hopefully this will cut down on having to make long off the mark throws to Soriano at 1B which will help Soriano make the adjustment. But opposing teams may find bunting down 3B line too good to pass up as Stewart as slow as Aram making that play and he plays a deep 3B knowing has good enough arm to make throw. Soriano covering bunts would have to let catcher get most but many 1B do that anyway. Soto would be quick enough going to left and covering bunt and he definitely has arm. He would do well at 1B too. Catchers and SS usually have ability to play anywhere in the infield. Just saying there are alternatives to breaking the bank on Fielder.

    1. Zelie

      But how long would it take Sori to learn not to hop off first base when catching throws from his infielders?

      1. EQ76

        touche’

  16. MC2

    Ramirez was once great for the team, but as soon as his sugar daddy got fired (“If Jim Hendry was hear we would have had a multi-year deal in place!” his agents quote), and his then immediate announcement he wanted to try for free agency? Come on! He tried to BS his way into a multi year deal with the new management and they called his bluff. Theo/Jed talked to everyone set to return to the club including the 3 coaches, got their opinions, and made decisions. I publicly heard Kerry Wood vouch for Big Z to come back but I have not heard any of the team say, “Hey we need Rami, he’s a great guy!”. After the season Bob Bremley let it be known his feelings of Ramirez and I seriously doubt it was based on rumors, Bremley even eluded it was one of the reasons he pulled his name from  the managerial hat a year ago. Face it the up sides aren’t as good as they once were with him, constant leg injuries, poor defense, we’ve already got someone else like that but they are willing to waive their no trade clause and have been apologetic to the fans for their play. Remember when Sosa once was thought to be a great guy by everyone!

    1. ferrets_bueller

      The Brewers now have the other half of what are possibly Bob Brenly’s most disliked players- Ryan ‘Bug eyes’ Braun, and Aramis. Hopefully they lose 100 games, lmao.

  17. Cheryl

    Better he’s gone. He wasn’t the best influence on Castro and came off this last year as making too little effort in the field. Also, he started hitting when it didn’t make any difference. Hope he realizes that he’ll have to make more of an effort with the Brewers than he did with the cubs.

  18. Kevin

    I truly feel as though this move opens the door for a Prince Fielder signing. With the Cards losing Pujols and the Crew losing Braun (probably) for 1/3 of the season. Theo/Jed see that this is a good time to step on the throats of our rivals. Although the Brewers just picked up a capable bat, Prince would be a great counter to that. I understand “The Cubs Way” of using money smartly and not wanted to commit to long term deals (which Prince is requesting) but if now it’s the perfect time to sign a 27 year old slugger, and simultaneously weaken the Brewers I do not know when is. Not only that but what impact bats are going to be on the market within the next couple of years. Sign Fielder and hopefully the Cubs will be in a Divisional Race come September, and then build off of that for 2013.

  19. ty

    Ramirez could not catch up with a fast ball for months–then at all star break he goes back home–returns and does not look like the same hitter–bat speed is fierce. Home cooking that good. Milwaukee beware!

    1. ferrets_bueller

      I remember having multiple discussions at the time that he was completely toast, nothing left in the tank. Then he had a sudden increase in bat speed? I was stunned then, and still am now. I’m guessing he might have just been hurt or out of shape and we didn’t know, but what you’re saying might have a little teeth. Although I suspect injury is much more likely.

      1. Cubbie Blues

        His swing changed. During his slump he was protecting his shoulder with both hands on the bat all the way through. When he wasn’t protecting his shoulder he used his old swing, releasing his right hand on the follow through, which enabled him to turn on the ball better. He still played crappy uninspired defence though.

        1. ferrets_bueller

          …and clogged the bases worse than Frank Thomas.

  20. die hard

    Of course, the Cubs never considered asking him to play 1B…that wouldve been too logical. That 3rd year could have been negotiated. Brewers paying him less per year than offered by Cubs. So it was all about 3rd year?! Strange way to try to keep needed slugger unless Brenly’s rant part of the plan to get him to leave town. One day we will find out.

    1. Rancelot

      I told myself not to do this but I am a weak man…

      Dude or dudette, this is not some park district or church league where you tell a guy to grab a first baseman’s mitt and go get ‘em.  In the pros it is a skilled position and you and your Starlin Castro bashing ways should understand how important it is to have someone that is agile around the bag and pick it!  You are also the same guy that wants Soto to play 3B, Campana to play every day and dare I say Dick Tidrow to be sitting in the GM’s chair with absolutely no qualifications for the job.

      I for one think it might be time for Bleacher Nation, in accordance with Commissioner Brett,  to be an industry pioneer and start testing for the right to post on this here website.  Whether it is a narcotic cocktail or early onset of dementia, it’s the only way for BN to show how much it cares about you!

    2. Bobo Justis

      What DH says and what the dog does in the yard, I put in the same pile.

  21. Cerambam

    Aramis Ramirez was an awesome cubs player for a very long time, super consistant, great numbers, but the last 3 seasons of him have left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Brett, when i saw you wishing him luck(conditionally) i found myself disagreeing with you which doesn’t happen often. I dont wish aram luck at all. I am all for continuing to root for a player after they leave, DeRosa, d.lee whatever. However, Ramirez showed a weird side of him this year, following 2 injury-filled, relatively unproductive seasons. With aram something about his attitude just leaves me completely apathetic with regards to his departure. Good riddance, i hope you do terrible.

  22. kinhin

    via Muskat: Koyie Hill non-tendered. Thank goodness!

  23. jim

    Just saw this on espn…The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired third baseman Casey McGehee from the Milwaukee Brewers in a trade for reliever Jose Veras on Monday night.

  24. Joe Cartwright

    At least they won’t have to worry about steroids with him.

  25. Eric

    It would have been nice, since Aramis wasn’t planning staying with the Cubs, to accept a trade at the trade deadline that way we could have gotten a couple nice prospects. I did love Aram. But it seems kind of a dick move to nix any trade when the Cubs were way out of the race anyway? Why not go to a team with a chance to win, AND also get the Cubs a couple prospects also, since you’re not planning on coming back anyway.

    Atleast we get a supplimental draft pick for him, that’s something I guess. Guess I’m just a little peeve he didn’t ok a trade when we could have sorely used more prospect chips to add to our system.

  26. die hard

    Cant wait to see if Dempster, Garza, Wood or Zambrano pitch inside to Aram, their old buddy…would hope they treat him as any other opposing ballplayer and not give in to him. With Santo in the Hall, would think Cub fans wont hold grudge against Aram and will treat him with respect deserved for best 3B since Santo….Aram had some great days but they were fewer and farther in between and seem to be when count least over past few years….will his draft pick be the compensation awarded to Bosox?…If so, way too much without knowing Theo’s results…So any compensation paid to Bosox should be determined based on Cubs 2014 finish, which would have given Theo 3 yrs….Such a proposal by Selig would go a long way to smoking out how each team really feels about Theo’s expected effectiveness with the hand hes been dealt… However, Selig may be too pre-occupied with the Braun investigation to give much time now to any other matters.