The 2011-12 offseason got off to a bit of a rough start. When Francisco Rodriguez accepted the Brewers' arbitration offer, it looked like the 2012 budget might be busted. That proved to be incorrect, though, as demonstrated a year ago today when the Brewers signed Aramis Ramirez to a three-year, $36 million deal.
Despite being just 33 years old at the time of the trade Ramirez had already played 14 major league seasons as a member of the Pirates and Cubs and racked up 1788 career hits, including 315 home runs. There were some concerns about his defense and grumbles about his work ethic, but he was also the reigning NL Silver Slugger at third base.
It took us some time to learn to appreciate the longtime former Cub as a Brewer, but the work was rewarded as Ramirez had one of his best offensive seasons in his first year in Milwaukee. His ninth place finish in the NL MVP voting was the best of his career, he led the NL and set a career high with 50 doubles and his 27 home runs gave him 25 or more in eight of the last nine seasons.
Ramirez's contract is backloaded and will pay him a minimum of $30 million over the next two+ seasons (depending on how his 2015 option works out), but if he keeps playing like he has to this point he'll be worth every penny.
- 2012 Brevard County Manatee Tommy Toledo, who turns 24.
- 2012 Huntsville Star Adam Weisenburger, who turns 24.
- 1998 Brewer Greg Mullins, who turns 41.