Aramis Ramirez's previous contract came with a $16 million mutual option for 2012. On October 29, the Chicago Cubs exercised their half. On October 30, Ramirez declined his, thereby becoming a free agent. Surely Ramirez could do better on the market than $16 million for one year, right?
A. Ramirez deal with #Brewers is 3 yrs, $36M. May include deferrals.
So instead of $16 million and one year, Ramirez gets $36 million and three years. It's a difference of $20 million over two years, which undershoots Ramirez's value, but then there's also value in having guaranteed money now, rather than possible money down the road. Ramirez isn't somebody to feel sorry for.
Incidentally, the signing of Ramirez almost certainly removes the Brewers from the Prince Fielder sweepstakes. They were pretty much out before, but now it's extra pretty much.