Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez will likely not see game action for the next ten to fourteen days, tweets FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. According to Rosenthal, this news means that Ramirez will not be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Teams like the Yankees and Red Sox had been rumored to be looking at the slugging veteran.
Ramirez is still a possible post-deadline trade chip, Rosenthal notes. Indeed, Ramirez's contract calls for him to make a robust $16MM next year, which is something of a double-edged sword. While the added year of control is attractive, the high price is prohibitive for many teams and significant for all. As a result, it is not difficult to see Ramirez clearing waivers or being claimed by a contender after the deadline. (Remember, after July 31, teams must pass players through revocable waivers before they can be dealt. Since a team can always change its mind if a player is claimed, most players show up on the wire at some point after the deadline. Big-name, big-money players are no exception. Last year, Joe Mauer reportedly cleared waivers, while Cliff Lee was apparently claimed by the Dodgers. Of course, neither Mauer nor Lee changed teams.)
Of course, Ramirez's ultimate value will depend upon how he returns from injury, especially at 35 years of age. He has been remarkably consistent since emerging as a regular, posting an OPS+ of at least 125 in every year but one between 2004 and 2012. This season, however, Ramirez has maintained his on-base capabilities but has seen a drop from his historic power levels. Over 209 plate appearances so far, he has a .271/.359/.414 line with just five home runs.