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 /
3 of 4
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Ramirez deal will be a win for the Tribe

Some people may look at the Ramirez deal and worry that it’s a risk given that he only has one full season with the club and was up and down the previous two seasons. I understand why people could be concerned but in reality, it’s almost impossible for this deal not to work out for the Indians.

In fact, nearly every deal the Indians have done like this one has worked out for the club, with the lone exception possibly being Roberto Hernandez, aka Fausto Carmona.

Even injury can’t really keep this deal from working out for the Indians. Don’t believe me? Just look at Michael Brantley once more. Had the Indians not signed Brantley, he would have gotten well over the $5 million he made in 2015 as part of his new extension. He probably gets close to $9 or $10 million in 2015, his second arbitration-eligible year (that’s what Jacoby Ellsbury got when he nearly won the MVP award).

Even though he took a step back in 2015, he was still very good and would have gotten another substantial raise, probably to around $12 million in 2016, in what would have been his final year of arbitration (and team control).

Now consider that $12 million is nearly as much as the Tribe will pay him in 2016 and 2017 combined under the deal they got him to sign in 2014 ($14 million). Even with Brantley missing virtually all of 2016, I don’t think many Tribe fans are upset that the Indians still have Brantley under team control this season and for a still modest $7.5 million.

Brantley doesn’t even have to be an MVP-caliber player in 2017 for his deal to be worth it. In a way, as long as Brantley is worth $2 million of this deal, his deal worked out for the Indians.

Related: 10 bold predictions for the 2017 Indians season

Ramirez could struggle in 2017 and still have been in line for a substantial raise in 2018 through arbitration. I had him getting at least $3.5 million in 2018 and likely around $17 million in total over his three arbitration years (2018-2020), and that’s assuming Ramirez didn’t become even better at any point over the next three years.

Instead, the Tribe will pay Ramirez just $15 million through his arbitration years plus they get one-to-three years of additional control. Honestly, it’s almost highway robbery that the Tribe got Ramirez to agree to this deal.