Brewers: Selloff begins—breaking down the Aramis Ramirez trade

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Jul 5, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Josh Harrison (5) steals second base ahead of a tag attempt by Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (22) during the seventh inning in an inter-league game at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Why Pittsburgh?

The Pirates entered play on Friday with a 55-40 record—six games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central and firmly in possession of the first wild-card position, 3½ games ahead of the Chicago Cubs, who hold the second wild-card spot, four games up on the San Francisco Giants and 6½ games ahead of the New York Mets.

But third baseman Josh Harrison, an All-Star in 2014, went down with a thumb injury on July 5 and is expected to miss up to seven weeks. He was hitting .279/.313/.384 with four homers and 22 RBI at the time of his injury.

The Pirates turned to Jung Ho Kang at third base after Harrison was hurt, but after shortstop Jordy Mercer went down with a knee sprain sustained in a game against the Brewers on Sunday, Brent Morel and Sean Rodriguez have split time at the position.

Morel’s contract was purchased from Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday and he has gone 1-for-6 in his two appearances.

Rodriguez has been a utility man for the Pirates, starting 11 games at first base and 11 in the outfield, but has been a non-factor offensively with a .208/.235/.313 slash line in 81 games and 153 plate appearances, with three homers and six RBI.

For his part, Ramirez welcomes a return to the pennant race.

“I’m in the pennant race and that’s what counts,” Ramirez said. “I don’t regret when I was a free agent and I chose to go to Milwaukee. I know we didn’t achieve our goal of going to the playoffs and eventually winning the World Series, but I don’t regret anything.

“I had a good time in Milwaukee. Good city, great fans, great front office. Just a fun time out there.”

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