Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez has decided to exercise his part of a mutual option for 2015, meaning he will return to the team for at least one more season.
Third baseman Aramis Ramirez has accepted his half of the 2015 mutual option. The #Brewers exercised the option last Friday.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) November 3, 2014
After the Brewers' decided to exercise their half of the option, Ramirez had until Monday to either choose to remain with Milwaukee for one more year or try his luck in free agency. He met with his agent last night to discuss the two options, but decided on the safe choice of a guaranteed one-year contract.
Ramirez will earn $14 million for the 2015 season. Even had he rejected the option, the Brewers had guaranteed they would not have to pay a $4 million buyout by exercising their half.
It had been well-rumored that Ramirez, 36, had wanted to stay with the Brewers regardless of his decision on the option. His decision apparently hinged more on whether he would rather seek a multi-year deal. He hit .285/.330/.427 with 15 home runs in 133 games for the Brewers in 2014 and has been with the team since signing a three-year deal prior to 2012.
Though Ramirez's .757 OPS last season was his second-worst since 2003, that kind of production is still likely enough to see him place in the top-10 third basemen in MLB. He had the ninth-best OPS at the position in 2014 as third base has become a tough spot to find great hitters.
With Ramirez back in the fold, it appears most of the Brewers' heavy-lifting this offseason is already done. They look set to roll with an opening day lineup of
C: Jonathan Lucroy
1B: Adam Lind
2B: Scooter Gennett
SS: Jean Segura
3B: Aramis Ramirez
LF: Khris Davis
CF: Carlos Gomez
RF: Ryan Braun
and with Yovani Gallardo's option also picked up, the starting rotation is at least six-deep already. Unless the Brewers make a big trade or two, the only places they can improve appear to be the bench and bullpen. They may also seek new platoon options for Lind and Gennett as well.