Let’s focus on the positive and break down some great Brewers contracts.
It would be easy to break down the contracts the Milwaukee Brewers took a swing and missed at. Jeffrey Hammonds, Matt Garza and Jeff Suppan roll right off the tongue like orange juice and toothpaste.
But those missteps helped lay the foundation that would eventually bring in David Stearns. The small market team that was basically always in rebuilding mode suddenly became a contender and made blockbuster trades and sneaky signings.
That doesn’t mean that the Brewers never had good contracts before Stearns and owner Mark Attanasio though. Each decade of the Brewers’ 50 plus years had some great signings. Players like George Scott and Larry Hisle coming to Milwaukee in the 1970s helped the Brewers and previous owner Bud Selig first get noticed.
Cut to now, where every year it’s fun to guess which player will come to Milwaukee on a lower contract and years of control and be the new fan favorite.
There are plenty to choose from, but here are six of the best contracts in Brewers franchise history.
Best Contract in Brewers History #6: Aramis Ramirez
Before the 2012 season, the Brewers stole Aramis Ramirez from their rival Chicago Cubs with a three-year, $36MM deal with an option for a 4th year and filling a hole in their roster. They needed a third baseman and another power hitter, and the contract did just that.
In 2012, Ramirez hit .300 with 27 home runs and 105 RBIs. He also led the league with 50 doubles and was a top-five finalist for the NL Gold Glove for third base. Aramis finished ninth in overall MVP voting that season too.
2013 would unfortunately be affected by injuries. He would play in only 92 games, but still finished with a .283 average, 12 home runs and 49 RBIs. His full last year with the Brewers would have similar stats. He ended with a .285 batting average, 15 home runs, and 66 RBIs. The major difference is that Ramirez would be a starter for the All-Star team that year.
In 2015, Ramirez announced that it would be his last season. With the team in selling mode, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in July. He would end up starting and ending his career with the same team. Overall, Ramirez would have 65 home runs for the Brewers, a high batting average throughout his time in Milwaukee and an All-Star appearance.
For a team who has had quite a revolving door at third base since Ramirez, grabbing a player like him from a rival team and getting solid years during the last big contract of his career was a great move and signing.