Jose Ramirez current bargain backfires on Cleveland Guardians
There’s no question that Jose Ramirez has been the best bargain in baseball for majority of his current contract. Since 2017 he’s been named an All-Star three times, has been a Silver Slugger three times and has finished in the top three of the MVP voting, you guessed it, three times, including a runner-up finish in 2020. All of that for the low price of $26 million over four seasons.
Now, the club options are starting to kick in for Ramirez and while his price will jump and most likely remain the highest number on Cleveland’s payroll, Ramirez will still be quite the bargain. He’s set to make $12 million in 2022 and $14 million in 2023.
While Ramirez’s bargain will help in the short-term, it could actually hurt in the long-term. The front office in Cleveland won’t want to risk losing the next two seasons of bargain play from Ramirez and Ramirez could very easily ask to make up for money missed.
Ramirez is still playing at a high level and is clearly the best offensive player on the roster. Odds are he will want to be paid to those standards. Jose Abreu, who beat out Ramirez for the 2020 MVP award, is making $18 million in 2022. Freddie Freeman, who took home the NL MVP in 2020, made $21 million in 2021 and is set to bring in a massive deal this offseason as a free agent.
Ramirez could very easily wait to see what Abreu and Freeman sign for in the next couple offseasons and ask for a similar number. For that reason alone, an extension this offseason seems like a reach and perhaps even an extension at all.