With Ryan Braun's 50-game suspension looming, the Brewers didn't waste anytime filling the void.
Free Agent Aramis Ramirez is free no more, as the Brewers went out and grabbed the 33-year old off the market.
To me, this was a great pick-up for the Brew Crew, as they obviously looked to quiet the controversy a little bit about Braun and return the attention to the team's contention.
When Braun was hit with this suspension, the Brewers had to do something. Many thought that might be going harder after Fielder, but the Brewers mentioned before that they couldn't afford to keep both Braun and Fielder. With Braun signing an extension with the club, that pretty much shoved Fielder out the door. Now, with the signing of Ramirez, this undoubtedly means that the Brewers are not going to go after Fielder.
Obviously, Ramirez is no Prince Fielder, but he is coming off a 26 home run, 93 RBI season with Chicago, where he hit .306 in 149 games. With Braun missing one-third of the 2012 season, it will be up to Ramirez to bridge the gap in the first 50 games.
What does this do for Prince Fielder? Well, the market is little more narrowed now that the Brewers can all but be written out of running. Look for the front-running teams to be a little more aggressive now, and I expect a deal to be done for Fielder by Christmas.
As if the winter couldn't get any more exciting, look for some big money to be thrown around rather quickly for Prince Fielder!
This is why baseball fans love the winter!