Cleveland Indians make Jose Ramirez deal official and it’s perfect for club’s future

Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /
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Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cleveland Indians continue to come through with extensions for their young stars, this time signing Jose Ramirez for at least the next five seasons.

While news of an extension broke last week, the Cleveland Indians have officially announced the Jose Ramirez extension today and it’s a five-year deal worth $26 million in guaranteed money, with a pair of options and escalators that could ultimately take it to $50 million over seven years.

Deal is great for the Indians going forward

On the surface this deal may not seem all that significant to some, as prior to signing this deal Ramirez was still under team control through the year 2020. He was already signed for 2017 (for $571,400) plus he had three arbitration years from 2018 to 2020. In a way, this deal may only have extended Ramirez’s time with the Indians by one season, so why is it such a big deal?

For one thing, this deal gives the Indians some cost certainty going forward in their future payrolls. Consider that the Indians will open the 2017 season with the highest payroll in team history, currently at about $127-128 million. That’s more than $35 million higher than any other season in club history!

And how about 2018? Without adding a single player, the Indians 2018 payroll looks like it could be around $131 million without a single addition and a similar theme can be seen in 2019 and 2020.

It should be noted that there is a lot of uncertainty in those payroll numbers; as there are several arbitration-eligible players who we don’t know exact figures on and player options that may or not be picked up. However, the point is, the Indians will be spending a ton of money the next three-plus seasons.

With this Ramirez deal, the Indians will still be spending a ton, but they know exactly how much they will be spending on Ramirez, and don’t have to worry about a potential huge spike in arbitration one year, potentially affecting their plans.

The Indians decided it best to reward Ramirez in 2017 as this deal will actually pay him $2,571,400 this season as he’ll get all of his $2 million signing bonus in addition to the $571,400 base salary he agreed to earlier this spring. This allows the Indians to spend less on Ramirez in 2018-2020, which as mentioned above, could be huge and give the club some extra flexibility to make moves in the future.