Brewers’ Ramirez says he’ll probably retire after 2015 season

PHOENIX — It was a bit surprising at the time, but it turns out there was a reason why Aramis Ramirez opted to exercise his half of a mutual option with the Milwaukee Brewers instead of chasing a multiyear contract. Ramirez is entering spring training with the mindset that the 2015 season will be his last, as he plans on retiring following his 18th year in the big leagues. “I don’t want a multiyear deal,” Ramirez said Friday. “I wasn’t looking forward to that. I’m comfortable here. I’m going to play this year and probably be done after this year. I don’t know if I want to play after this year. “It is more a family thing. I’ve got three kids. I’ve been playing for a long time, been away for a long time. Sometimes it is just time to do something else.” While it didn’t come up at the time, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin had an idea Ramirez was thinking about retirement when he opted to take the $14 million option for 2015 on Nov. 3. “It’s not stunning,” Melvin said. “I think when he accepted our deal to come back that was probably a message. He didn’t go out on the market. He’s always said it’s never been about the money.” Ramirez is an important piece for the Brewers this season, as they are counting on the 36-year-old to hit in the middle of the lineup while playing the majority of the time at third base. After hitting .300 with 27 home runs and 105 RBI over 149 games during the first year of a three-year, $36 million deal with the Brewers in 2012, leg injuries have limited Ramirez to just 225 games over the past two seasons. He’s shooting to play 140 to 145 games in 2015, something he’s done just twice since 2009. “I’m used to playing every day,” Ramirez said. “I’ve been an everyday player my whole career. You want to be out there every day. (Brewers manager Ron Roenicke) knows I don’t like to sit the bench, but I’m going to have to. I’m 36. I’m going to be 37 this summer. It doesn’t get any easier. I’m going to take a break here and there. (Roenicke’s) good about it. We talk about it. He’s pretty good about it.” The Brewers lack a clear successor to Ramirez at third base, as the internal options aren’t very appealing. Luis Jimenez is fighting to make the team in spring training after being claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels in October, but he’s a 27-year-old career minor leaguer.

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