MLB notes: Brewers bulk up offence
By QMI Agency
|Aramis Ramirez hits against the Astros at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Ill., Sep. 17, 2011. (TASOS KATOPODIS/Getty Images/AFP)
Free-agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez has agreed a three-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers worth more than $34 million, ESPN.com reported Monday.
Ramirez was a Silver Slugger award winner in 2011, hitting 26 homers with 93 RBI for the Chicago Cubs.
The 33-year-old will be expected to provide some offence for the Brewers, who likely will lose first baseman Prince Fielder to free agency and will be without MVP Ryan Braun for 50 games provided his ban is upheld for allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs.
Ramirez is a .284 career hitter with 315 homers and 1,122 RBI. He is coming off his best season since 2008, when Ramirez ripped 44 doubles, 27 homers and collected 111 RBI.
Considering his power, Ramirez has reasonable strikeout numbers, having fanned 100 times just once (2001) during a 14-year career.
GONZALEZ DEAL FINALIZED
The Brewers also made official their signing of shortstop Alex Gonzalez to a one-year contract with an option for 2013.
Gonzalez, who will be 35 in February, hit .241 with 15 homers and 56 RBI for the Atlanta Braves last season.
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said Monday that Gonzalez provides a veteran presence and playoff experience.
In 1,535 career games with Florida (1998-2005), Boston (2006, '09), Cincinnati (2007, '09), Toronto (2010) and Atlanta (2010-11), Gonzalez has hit .247 with 152 homers and 665 RBI.
The Brewers also signed catcher Mike Rivera and first baseman Travis Ishikawa to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training.
CARDS 'DISAPPOINTED' PUJOLS
Albert Pujols' wife said in a radio interview Monday she and her husband had no intention of leaving St. Louis but the initial Cardinals' offer of only a five-year deal disappointed them.
She said the free-agent first baseman was willing to take less money to stay,
Pujols eventually signed a 10-year, $254-million offer with the Los Angeles Angels that contained no deferred money, as well as a 10-year personal services contract following that deal. The Cardinals' last offer to Pujols was for 10 years and $210 million, with $30 million deferred.
"The offer that people have seen on television ... had that offer been given to us with a guarantee, we would have the (Cardinals) bird on our back," Diedre Pujols said.
She said the Cardinals' initial offer of five years and $130 million was unexpected.
RHYME'S TIME'S UP
The Detroit Tigers did not tender a contract offer to second baseman Will Rhymes for 2012. Rhymes split last year between the Tigers and triple-A Toledo. In 29 games with Detroit, he hit .235 with two RBI. He batted .305 with three home runs and 24 RBI with the Mud Hens.
The 28-year-old Texan has logged 83 games with the Tigers over the past two seasons.
The Colorado Rockies signed free-agent catcher Ramon Hernandez to a two-year contract Monday. Hernandez, 35, hit .282 with 12 home runs and 36 RBI in 91 games for the Cincinnati Reds in 2011 ... The New York Mets signed left-handed pitcher Garrett Olson and catcher Lucas May to minor-league contracts and claimed right-hander Jeremy Hefner off waivers from Pittsburgh. Olson was 1-1 with a 2.08 earned-run average in four games with the Pirates last season. Hefner was 9-7 with a 4.98 ERA at triple-A for San Diego. Lucas hit .238 for two triple-A teams in 2011.