The Milwaukee Brewers have picked up the 2015-options on pitcher Yovani Gallardo and third-baseman Aramis Ramirez but declined to pick up the $11.5 million option on second baseman Rickie Weeks.
The Brewers have no viable option at third base besides Ramirez so they picked up their half of the $14 million mutual option. Ramirez has three days to accept or decline.
Gallardo finished 8-11 in 2014 but had a career best 3.51 ERA over 32 starts. He allowed 195 hits, issued 54 walks and struck out 146 hitters in 192 1/3 innings. It’s his first losing record with the Brewers.
The 32-year-old Weeks was the second player selected in the 2003 draft but lost his everyday job at second base with the arrival of Scooter Gennett. He played mostly against left-handed pitching this past season, hitting .274 with eight home runs and 29 rbi’s.
Ramirez hit .285 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI in 133 games with the Brewers last season. While his return at $14 million could be a risk, the Brewers have no other viable option in the organization at third base and the free agent market at the position is thin.
Cubs hire Maddon
The Brewers rivals to the south, the Chicago Cubs fired their manager Rick Renteria after just one season on the job and hired Joe Maddon to lead the team.
Renteria was fired after the Cubs finished 73-89 last season, a seven-game improvement from 2013 under Dale Sveum. But, when Maddon opted out of his contract with Tampa Bay and became a managerial free agent, he was too good to pass up.
Maddon is a two-time manager of the year, posting a 754-705 record during his nine seasons in Tampa Bay. He led the Rays to four playoff appearances, two AL East titles and a trip to the 2008 World Series which the Rays lost to Philadelphia in five games.