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Aramis Ramirez Rumors
Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez has received MVP votes in five different seasons. The accomplished slugger spoke to MLBTR today about why he chose his agent, Paul Kinzer of Kinzer Management Group.
On when he first came into contact with Kinzer:
After I played in the New York-Penn League in 1996, I met him in the Dominican and at the time I didn't have an agent, so he was my first agent and my only one.
On whether other agents had tried to talk to him:
A couple of guys when I was playing in the New York-Penn League in my first year in '96, they approached me, but I wasn't really into it. I was just concentrating on baseball. I wasn't worrying about an agent, I was just in A ball, so it wasn't my main thing. Then I met Paul in the Dominican and he seemed like a real honest guy and I signed with him.
On the decision to go with Kinzer, and their relationship:
He had a couple of Dominican players back then, good friends of mine, Neifi Perez and Enrique Wilson. They both told me he was great, and I trusted them. There was a Dominican guy too that worked for him, Abraham Mejia, that I knew since I was 14 or 15.
We have a real good relationship, he's like a father to me. He was the best man at my wedding. It's not a business relationship between me and Paul. It's more like a friendship, a father/son thing. We've been together for so long…he loves my family, I love his, and we always keep in touch besides business stuff.
On recommending Kinzer to other players:
I have in the past. I don't really like that, but if there is a guy that doesn't have an agent, or a young player, I recommend him. I did with [Starlin] Castro when he was coming up. I told Paul he has to go to the complex and sign this kid, he was going to be good.
On his level of involvement in multiyear contract discussions prior to free agency:
I was very involved. That was between me and Paul. Even though he was with a big company before, it was only me and him. He kept me updated every single moment, and I want to be. It was my future and I want to know what's going on.
On the contract clauses with the Cubs that allowed Ramirez to void:
That was his idea all along, and it worked out well. We did it in Chicago a couple of times and that was a good job on his part.
On Wasserman Media Group parting ways with Kinzer last year, and how that affected him:
I don't really have a relationship with them. To me Paul is my agent, and I know he was with that company, but I guess it didn't work out. I'm sticking with Paul no matter what, he's my agent. It wasn't the company — Paul is my agent, and he has been my whole career. He let me know right away when they were going through the process of separating, and I told him it was not going to affect my relationship with him.
On how the free agent process unfolded after the 2011 season:
I just let him work. I always tell him that I will do my job on the field, he's got to do his job outside the field. He kept me updated, anytime a team called, or we have to go meet somebody. When I was a free agent a year ago we had to go to L.A. and meet a couple of teams out there. He just kept me updated every single step.
The Pirates know what it’s like to fall out of contention after playing well for four months and they hope to avoid a repeat of last year’s late-season struggles. “Our young players have been through it once,” Pirates GM Neal Huntington told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. “They don’t ever want to go through it again.” Here are the rest of Rosenthal’s notes from around MLB…
- The Yankees aren’t ruling out keeping Nick Swisher when he hits free agency after the season, but it seems more likely that he’ll sign elsewhere. It appears that Swisher will be tied to draft pick compensation this winter.
- The Blue Jays will likely discuss an extension with manager John Farrell this offseason so he doesn’t enter the 2013 season without long-term security. If Farrell isn’t ready to commit to an extension, the Blue Jays could look to work out a deal with the Red Sox, who previously employed Farrell as their pitching coach.
- Rosenthal points out that Marco Scutaro has provided the Giants with offense and versatility since San Francisco acquired him from Colorado last month.
- Though the Brewers’ season has generally been disappointing, the team has developed Mike Fiers into a promising starting pitcher, found a second catcher in Martin Maldonado and traded for shortstop Jean Segura. The Brewers are impressed by Aramis Ramirez’s leadership, according to Rosenthal.
- Rosenthal suggests we shouldn’t be surprised if the Dodgers make another waiver trade before the month of August ends. They already acquired Joe Blanton from the Phillies in one waiver deal.
- Could the Rays trade David Price to the Rangers for a package of players built around Elvis Andrus and Martin Perez this winter? Rosenthal speculates about the possibility, but there’s no indication the sides are discussing a deal.
- The Pirates have moved Kevin Correia to the bullpen to make room for Wandy Rodriguez in the rotation and Correia isn't thrilled about it, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Angels could be interested in acquiring the California native, who says that he hopes to get back to being a starter.
- As it stands now, Greinke is scheduled to pitch against the Nationals on Sunday, but Nats skipper Davey Johnson doesn't expect to see the right-hander on the hill, writes Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. "I'd be real surprised," Johnson said. "I know in the past if a ballclub's intent on making a move, you're not going to pitch him two days before the deadline."
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com handicaps the most likely destinations for Greinke and the Rangers top the list with 9-5 odds. The Red Sox are categorized as a longshot with 100-1 odds.
- Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter) believes that someone will bite on the Pirates' Kevin Correia as he is owed just $1MM for the rest of the year. The Bucs are reportedly sending signals that they could part with Correia after acquiring Wandy Rodriguez.
- Teams have expressed interest in Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. However, the Brewers would be have to be overwhelmed to trade either player.
- Brewers relievers Francisco Rodriguez, Jose Veras, Manny Parra and Kameron Loe had been drawing interest, but their value “tanked” following a poor showing in Philadelphia this week, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow suggested to Rosenthal that absorbing salary can help Houston obtain better prospects in trades. “In this environment, you’re limited in how much money you can spend on the draft, how much you can spend internationally,” Luhnow said, referring to the rules regulating amateur spending in baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement.
- Pitching prospect Shelby Miller is available in trade talks, yet the Cardinals don't appear anxious to make an impact deal, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter).
Zach Links contributed to this post.
We checked in on the AL East this morning, but with less than a week remaining before the trade deadline, the rumors don’t stop coming. Here’s the latest…
- The Red Sox won't trade Jon Lester this summer, Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports. The Red Sox are working to add starting pitching and have interest in controllable right-handers Matt Garza and Josh Johnson, Edes writes.
- Several clubs have approached the Red Sox about possible trades involving outfielders such as Ryan Kalish, Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross. The Pirates and Reds have both scouted the Red Sox extensively, according to Edes.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Blue Jays are trying to move Yunel Escobar and suggests they could have interest in Jose Reyes. The Blue Jays were very interested in Reyes as a free agent, Sherman writes.
- The Yankees aren’t likely to pursue Aramis Ramirez, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). They could have interest in Chase Headley, however.
- In case you missed it, the Rays designated Hideki Matsui for assignment.
Scouts will be watching Brewers ace Zack Greinke very closely tonight as he makes his first start since July 13. The right-hander was given 10 days' rest in an effort to see him "recharge his batteries," as Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin phrased it. We'll keep tabs on Greinke rumors in this post, with the latest going up top.
- The Brewers' ideal scenario is to trade third baseman Aramis Ramirez to the Dodgers in exchange for pitching prospect Zach Lee and then deal Greinke to the Rangers for third base prospect Mike Olt, reports Jim Bowden of SiriusXM ESPN radio (via Twitter). Bowden adds that such a sequence of moves is unlikely, however.
- The teams that are known to have interest in Greinke, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, are: the Rangers, Orioles, Braves, Angels, White Sox, Blue Jays, and Dodgers.
The Athletics, suddenly in contention with a 46-43 record, are one of the few contenders with potential surplus pitching, Yahoo’s Tim Brown writes. They could use production from the left side of their infield and appear to be interested in trading for upgrades. Here’s the latest from Brown, starting in Oakland…
- The A’s would likely trade 39-year-old right-hander Bartolo Colon if they deal a starter, Brown writes. However, Ken Rosenthal reported today that a deal involving Colon is highly unlikely.
- Assistant GM David Forst said the A’s aren’t looking to sacrifice a lot in mid-season trades. "We're listening. But we're not looking to significantly change the composition of this team," Forst told Brown.
- The Dodgers have found trade discussions slow as they look to add starting pitching and corner infield help.
- The Brewers appear to be seeking Major League pitching for Aramis Ramirez, Brown writes. Brown reported last week that the Dodgers are eyeing the veteran third baseman.
- The White Sox, Angels, Rangers, Braves, Orioles, Red Sox, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Pirates, Cardinals and Tigers are among the teams that are currently seeking starting pitching, Brown writes.
The Dodgers have identified Aramis Ramirez as a potential trade target in case the Brewers decide to trade veteran players this summer, Yahoo's Tim Brown reports (on Twitter). However, the Dodgers prefer Chase Headley of the Padres.
Ramirez signed a three-year, $36MM contract with Milwaukee last offseason. The 34-year-old has ten home runs and a .272/.346/.475 batting line through 338 plate appearances so far in 2012. The 40-45 Brewers aim to establish themselves as contenders after the All-Star beak, when they play the Pirates, Cardinals and Reds.
Headley, 28, has a .267/.368/.413 batting line in 370 plate appearances for the Padres. He earns $3.48MM this year and will remain under team control through 2014. The 34-53 Padres figure to be sellers this summer, though they may hesitate to deal within the NL West.
Los Angeles has a clear need at the hot corner; Dodgers third basemen rank 26th in MLB with a combined .631 OPS. Manager Don Mattingly was relying on a combination of Jerry Hairston Jr., Juan Uribe, Adam Kennedy and Luis Cruz at the position leading up to the All-Star break.
A few items on the Cubs and Cardinals..
- The Cardinals control Adam Wainwright for the next two seasons for $21MM but the hurler could be up next for a long-term deal with the team once he shows that he's recovered from Tommy John surgery, writes Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. While the 30-year-old won’t be immune to future injuries, Gordon writes that his work ethic offers some promise of success as he gets older.
- Former Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez defended the job that Jim Hendry did in Chicago, writes Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. While recognizing Theo Epstein's past success, Ramirez says that it'll take time for the President of Baseball Operations to find success.
- Ramirez also touched on Carlos Zambrano's issues in Chicago and says that his ex-teammate hurt the club with his suspensions, Wittenmyer writes.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com credits the Cardinals for making smart decisions in the months following Albert Pujols' departure.
- The chances of Jimmy Rollins signing with the Tigers seem incredibly thin, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
- GM Dave Dombrowski said the Tigers had "minimal" discussions with Aramis Ramirez’s representatives, Chris Iott MLive.com reports. The Tigers did not make the third baseman a formal offer before the Brewers signed him.
- Athletics closer Andrew Bailey admits that he doesn't know where he'll be pitching next year, but the trade candidate sounds prepared for the possibility that he'll be dealt before Opening Day, as Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes. Bailey grew up on the East Coast and says he has an understanding of what it would be like to pitch for a team like the Red Sox.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin says he's moving forward under the assumption that Ryan Braun will be in the lineup next year, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports. The Brewers are doing "business as normal," though Braun tested positive for a banned substance and faces a possible 50-game suspension.
The Brewers have secured a much-needed power bat, as they've announced a three-year deal with third baseman Aramis Ramirez. The $36MM contract includes a mutual option for 2015. With first baseman Prince Fielder expected to leave via free agency and MVP Ryan Braun facing a potential 50-game suspension for a banned substance, the Brewers were motivated to add a middle-of-the-order hitter. Ramirez is represented by Paul Kinzer of Wasserman Media Group.
Ramirez, 33, bounced back to hit .306/.361/.510 with 26 home runs in 626 plate appearances for the Cubs in 2011. Former Cubs GM Jim Hendry stole Ramirez from the Pirates in a 2003 trade, and the right-handed slugger solidified the position for Chicago by hitting .294/.356/.531 with 239 home runs over eight-plus seasons. His defense is below-average, based on UZR. Aramis, MLBTR's eighth-ranked free agent, finished a five-year, $75MM deal when he declined his side of a mutual option in October. The Cubs will receive a supplemental draft pick for their loss.
After Francisco Rodriguez accepted arbitration from the Brewers last week, it wasn't clear whether the Brewers would still be in the mix for another expensive player like Ramirez. The Brewers have revamped the left side of their infield, announcing a deal with shortstop Alex Gonzalez Monday.
Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago first reported the agreement, with Ken Rosenthal adding details. Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.