- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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The Brewers veteran infielder was in the same position as his ex-teammate Castro, who is expected to sign a seven-year, $59 million contract on Tuesday, when he signed a big contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates when he was 23.
“People are going to approach him for money,” Ramirez said. “It is going to happen because it goes along with making big dollars for the first time in your life. He is a good kid and he is going to want to help his family and he will but you have to be smart about it [with others]. [Freeloaders] are going to show up.”
Ramirez and Castro share the same agent, Paul Kinzer of the Wasserman group. Ramirez credits Kinzer for helping him avoid the frauds and phonies when he signed his first deal.
“I was careful because I come from a different background,” Ramirez said. “Paul told me, ‘We just let your money work for you (with conservative investments),’ and that is what I did. He said, ‘Go out on the field and do your job and I will do mine.’ ”
The former Cubs star is surprised that the team’s new bosses are taking such a long-range approach to getting better on the field.
“I didn’t know they were going to strip it down this far,” Ramirez said. “I didn’t realize they were going to get rid of every single guy. (Theo Epstein) was honest with my agent. (The Cubs) told him that they were going young. That is what happens when you rebuild but I did not know they were going to start from zero.”
Ramirez is having a typically solid year for the Brewers, hitting .291 with 18 homers and 77 RBIs. He leads the National League in extra base hits (63) and doubles (42).
“You really can’t put a time table on when you are going to compete,” Ramirez said. “I don’t know what their game plan is, but they have some good young players and unlike Pittsburgh or Kansas City they will have money to spend when they want to sign or trade for players who are established.”
Ramirez signed a three-year, $36 million deal with Milwaukee last winter after completing his five-year, $75 million deal with the Cubs.