Ramirez, Crew finalize $36 million deal

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Thursday, December 15, 2011
— With Prince Fielder all but gone and Ryan Braun facing a possible 50-game suspension, the Milwaukee Brewers needed another source of offense.

The Brewers finalized a $36 million, three-year contract with free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez on Wednesday, adding a much-needed bat to their lineup.

Ramirez, who played the past eight-plus seasons for the NL Central rival Chicago Cubs, said he considers the Brewers a team that will be in position contend every year for the foreseeable future—even if they do lose Braun for a chunk of next season and lose Fielder for good.

"You're going to miss those guys if Ryan Braun is suspended, but I think you win with pitching," Ramirez said.

And while Ramirez said he'll do his best to help produce runs, he doesn't see himself as a direct replacement for Fielder.

"You can't replace Prince Fielder," Ramirez said. "He's one of the best hitters in the game."

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin acknowledged that Wednesday's signing of Ramirez more or less means that they're moving on from Fielder, who is almost sure to sign elsewhere.

"It appears, obviously, that Prince Fielder will probably not be coming back at this time," Melvin said. "So we had to move forward."

Braun, the NL MVP, is appealing a positive test for a banned substance.

"There's a lot of uncertainty, but we're moving forward with him being a part of our ballclub," Melvin said.

The 33-year-old Ramirez played 149 games for the Cubs last year, batting .306 with 26 home runs and 93 RBIs.

Ramirez gets $6 million next year, $10 million in 2013 and $16 million in 2014, of which $6 million is deferred.

Last updated: 7:06 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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