CINCINNATI -- Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez is as surprised as anybody to see his name popping up in trade rumors.
"I just signed here, a three-year deal, so the last thing I expect is to be traded" Ramirez said. "Rumors are rumors. I've been traded before, so I know how things go. I've been around for a while, and I can't let that bother me at all."
He knows anything can happen. The Brewers have fallen further out of the National League Central race, and Ramirez doesn't have any no-trade protection.
"I could be gone tomorrow," he said.
The Dodgers are among the teams interested in Ramirez should the Brewers decide to sell, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick
. The Dodgers could also be a fit for Zack Greinke, and have had a scout at recent Brewers games even though Milwaukee and Los Angeles do not meet again this season.
But Ramirez would be a tough trade for the Brewers considering his value as their starting third baseman and cleanup hitter. They signed him in December to a back-loaded deal of $36 million over three years.
Ramirez has been productive at the plate, batting .274 with 10 home runs and 54 RBIs, though he's dropped off in on-base percentage and slugging percentage from his final season with the Cubs. Ramirez entered Sunday second in the NL with 30 doubles, on pace to challenge Lyle Overbay's club record of 53 doubles in 2004.
Ramirez has also been solid in the field, with five errors this season and none since May 15. His .970 fielding percentage trails only the Phillies' Placido Polanco among Major League third basemen, and Ramirez's ultimate zone rating on Fangraphs.com places him right in the middle of the pack.
"His hands are great, his arm's great," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Almost every single throw is perfect. He hurt us in the field last year [with the Cubs]. He made some diving plays against us. He didn't miss anything."
The Brewers would not have an obvious replacement for Ramirez should they opt to trade him. Taylor Green struggled in inconsistent duty during the first half and was optioned to Triple-A Nashville. Minor League journeyman Andy Gonzalez has been playing third for the Sounds.