When Aramis Ramirez exercised his end of a mutual option for 2015 with the Brewers, there was a small amount of surprise. While he has been on the decline, third base is a weak enough position around the majors that he would likely have been able to get a strong multi-year deal from the Brewers or elsewhere.
As it turns out, Ramirez was comfortable with a one-year deal for a reason: The 36-year-old Dominican is planning to call it a career following the upcoming 2015 season.
"I don't want a multi-year deal. I wasn't looking forward to that. I'm comfortable here," he said in a 10-minute session with reporters this morning.
"I'm going to play this year and probably be done after this year. I don't know if I want to play after this year. I think this is it. We'll see what happens, but I don't think I'll play after this year.
"It's more of a family thing. I've got three kids, I've been playing for a long time, been away for a long time. Sometimes it's just time to do something else."
Ramirez will be playing in his 18th major league season in 2015, having broken in with the Pirates in 1998. He spent five and a half years in Pittsburgh before a trade sent him to the Cubs in 2003. He played for Chicago through 2011, but signed with the Brewers as a free agent and has spent three years with Milwaukee so far.
In 2,057 career games, Ramirez has hit .285/.344/.496 with 369 home runs and 2,186 hits. Ramirez has made three All Star games in his career, including last season when he was elected a starter by the fans. He may get a few votes for the Hall of Fame a few years down the road, but is unlikely to make much headway on that campaign.
For his part, Ramirez is happy with how his career has gone, though he does have one final goal:
Aramis Ramirez: "I think I achieved my goals. The only thing I’m missing is playing in a World Series."— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) February 27, 2015
Ramirez announcing his plan to retire leaves the Brewers with one year to find someone to take over at the position. Right now, Milwaukee has very few internal options that could take over the hot corner and the free agent market next off-season is headed by David Freese. Thus, the Brewers might need to either scrounge something together or work some kind of trade in the next year.
The good news is the news was expected by the Brewers, as GM Doug Melvin figured Ramirez took the one-year option because his career was winding down.
Ramirez will leave a big hole to fill for the Brewers, but he'll have one more year to prove that he is still among the best third baseman in the game. I know all of us would love to see him get that World Series opportunity.