The Brewers got high marks for austerity this offseason because they didn't court Prince Fielder and instead singed the less pricey Aramis Ramirez, but the praise isn't deserved.
You don't replace one backloaded deal with another and call it even, just because the second deal has smaller numbers. That's not how austerity works. The second deal is still a bad deal.
The second deal in this case is Aramis Ramirez's three-year, $36 million contract with a mutual option on the fourth year, worth another $10 million.
That's for a player in the decline phase of his baseball career who might not be able to stay at his given position much longer.
Ramirez, always a below-average fielder, has seen his UZR and range rating dip to critical levels over the past three seasons.
At his current trajectory, the Brewers will need to decide whether they can afford to keep him at third base much longer.
If they decide to keep him at the hot corner, he'll be one of the worst infield defenders in baseball.
If they move him to first base, it devalues whatever offensive production he has left.