Last week the Brewers exercised their half of Aramis Ramirez’s mutual option for 2015 and today the third baseman did the same, so he’ll stay in Milwaukee for $14 million next season.
It makes sense for both sides. That’s a hefty price tag and Ramirez’s production dipped this season, but he still hit .285 with 15 homers and a .757 OPS in 133 games and the one-year commitment limits the Brewers’ risk. Plus, the cost to buy him out was $4 million.
From his point of view, it would have been tough to secure a big multi-year contract on the open market as a 36-year-old free agent and getting more than $14 million on a one-year deal was hardly a sure bet.
In three seasons for the Brewers he’s hit a combined .291 with an .834 OPS and Ramirez has totaled 2,186 hits–including 369 homers–in 17 seasons as a big leaguer for Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Chicago.
The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.
Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.
As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.
Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.
The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”