And he won’t be donning an Old English D. Not that we ever thought it was particularly likely, or perhaps even advisable, but of the major non-international free agents on the market this offseason Aramis Ramirez was the only one the Tigers front office had shown a bit of an interest in pursuing.
He’ll be signing with the Milwaukee Brewers and though exact terms haven’t yet been revealed, it’s likely to be in the 3 year, $36 million range as expected. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not especially disappointed that the Tigers elected not to outbid Milwaukee in this particular case – I’d be very worried that Ramirez could wind up a step too slow to play third base before his contract was up – but I am concerned about the state of the position in the Motor City heading into 2012. With, quite literally, the only impact free agent at the hot corner off the market if the Tigers intend to upgrade their offense there it will have to be done through trades – and when things get done through trades, we may see a further emptying of the minor league system.
Though what happens in the NL Central is of little concern to we junior circuit fans, it doesn’t look like Milwaukee will even be making a half-hearted push for Prince Fielder now that they have signed Ramirez (as well as Francisco Rodriguez and Alex Gonzalez). That is a guy I would love to see playing in Detroit, whatever the cost, if only there was a position for him to play. Of course, there isn’t, and with the Cubs pleading poverty the other three teams in the mix are all in the American League. Of course, they aren’t in the woeful Central, so a Fielder signing would lend further credence to John Verburg’s argument that neither of the AL wild cards in 2012 will come from the Central division.