Ramirez is scheduled to come off the disabled list on Monday after nursing a sprained knee, and the Yankees (along with the Boston Red Sox) will be sending scouts to the game in an effort to gauge where he is physically at this point in his career.
The third baseman is currently in his 16th season in the majors, spending his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs before moving to the Brewers before last season. He has consistently been one of the better offensive third basemen in the league—hence the Yankees' alleged interest.
Over the course of his career, Ramirez has crushed 347 home runs while posting a line of .285/.344/.501. He has placed in the National League MVP voting five times and has been named an All-Star twice. He also won the Silver Slugger in 2011, his final season with the Cubs.
Yankees fans shouldn't have qualms in acquiring the 35-year-old third baseman, as he put up arguably his best career numbers last season. He led the NL with 50 doubles, posted a line of .300/.360/.540 and recorded 27 home runs and 105 RBI.
Ramirez is signed through the 2014 season with a mutual option for 2015. He is scheduled to make $12 million next season. The Brewers would likely have to cover some of that salary if a deal is to be made. Even with his numbers from last season, Ramirez is a liability at third given his age and apparent knee issues.
The Brewers would likely seek a prospect-heavy package in return. As a team sitting in last place in the NL Central, they need to start stockpiling talent for the future.
Yankees fans should also keep in mind that Alex Rodriguez expects to return on Monday against the Texas Rangers, according to Gabe Lacques of USA Today, so it will be interesting to see how the team envisions using both players. Rodriguez could become the full-time designated hitter, but then Travis Hafner would be without a role on the team.
It's far-fetched, but Rodriguez and Hafner could split DH duties depending on the pitcher. Rodriguez would then see at-bats against lefties, though that would result in far fewer at-bats compared to Hafner. A 50-50 split could work, with Rodriguez seeing nearly all at-bats against lefties.
Or, Ramirez could move to first base. While he has never played a single inning there during his major league career, Ramirez has the build and defensive capabilities to make a near-seamless transition across the diamond. This solution would make Lyle Overbay expendable, or it could simply shift him to a bench role (a role that he is best fit for).
It will be interesting to see how the Yankees play this out. Everything will weigh on what the scouts see on Monday when the Brewers take on the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. In their quest for offensive firepower, Ramirez could end up being just what the team needs.
***UPDATE, 7/20, 11:16 AM***
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com is reporting via Twitter that Ramirez will miss 10-14 more days and is no longer a candidate to be traded in July. If he clears waivers, then he can be dealt in August.
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