MARCH 28: Cleveland has announced the signing.
MARCH 25: Ramirez receives a $2MM signing bonus and a $571.4K salary for 2017, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Ramirez will earn just under $2.429MM in 2018, so he’ll make a combined $3MM in salary over the next two seasons. The rest of the contract breaks down as $3.75MM in 2019, $6.25MM in 2020 and $9MM in 2021. There is a $2MM buyout of the $11MM club option in 2022 and the 2023 club option (with no buyout) is worth $13MM. Each club option year could be increased by $1M based on escalator clauses. The deal will become official when Ramirez passes a physical.
MARCH 24, 8:09pm: The guarantee includes Ramirez’s salary for the upcoming season, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian tweets.
5:55pm: The Indians are close to finalizing a four-year deal with infielder Jose Ramirez, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. When it’s completed, the contract is expected to promise Ramirez $26MM, Passan tweets. It will also include a pair of options valued at $11MM and $13MM, respectively; escalators could push the total value of the deal’s six possible seasons to $50MM.
Ramirez, 24, has two years and 74 days of MLB service on his odometer. The deal will begin with the 2018 season, meaning it’ll cover his three seasons of arbitration eligibility and one campaign of potential free-agent eligibility. With the two options, the Indians will pick up three new years worth of control, meaning Ramirez could be in Cleveland through his age-31 season.
The Indians continue to rate as one of the game’s most aggressive pursuers of new contracts with existing players. Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley, Yan Gomes, Carlos Santana, Brandon Guyer, and Josh Tomlin are all playing on deals that extended the club’s control rights.
Now, Ramirez appears set to join that group — most of which is set to stay in Cleveland for quite a few years. Whether the club will make a concerted effort to do the same with star shortstop Francisco Lindor remains to be seen, but he surely seems to be the club’s most appealing remaining extension target.
Ramirez seemed an unlikely candidate for a sizable commitment this time last year, when he was coming off of a season in which he hit just .219/.291/.340 over 355 plate appearances. But his fortunes changed in a big way last year.
Slated to play a reserve role at the outset of the season, Ramirez ended up seeing action in all but ten of the club’s games due both to necessity and his performance. Over 618 plate appearances in 2016, the switch-hitter racked up 11 home runs and 22 steals while slashing .312/.363/.462 in 618 trips to the plate. He continued to show a high-contact approach; over his career, he has been roughly average in taking walks (7.3% walk rate) but strikes out in just 11 percent of his trips to the plate.
Though he’s a middle infielder by trade, Ramirez ended up playing mostly at third and in left last year. He’ll likely end up back at third at some point, but for the time being he’ll slide over to cover for the injured Kipnis. That versatility, clearly, is a key component of Ramirez’s value. Another area where Ramirez excelled last year was in the baserunning department. Though he had rated well in prior seasons, he lept to a robust 8.8 runs above average by measure of Fangraphs’ BsR, placing him fifth in all of baseball.
A repeat of his 2016 season could’ve set the stage for a fairly hefty arbitration salary and enhanced Ramirez’s value yet further. But it’s easy to see the appeal of this contract, which takes away the risk of a drop in performance and sits fairly comfortably in range of many similar deals. (Plus, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets, Ramirez himself is said to have wanted to land a long-term pact.) 2+ service-class players such as Ender Inciarte and Odubel Herrera landed guarantees right at the $30MM mark, but both have logged two full seasons as productive regulars. The closest recent comparable is Kolten Wong’s five-year, $25.5MM deal with the Cardinals, which included one option year.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Any deal that allows Ramirez to play for Cleveland longer is a great deal in my book. He was incredibly clutch with Runners in scoring position last year and his defensive versatility is essential for any great player.
I’m sure he’ll probably regress a bit this season but in the long run this deal will look even better
It’s nice to see clubs able to get early extensions out this year with last yesr having virtually none, heard a bunch of opinions saying the team friendly extension was going the way of the dodo, I bet this off-season showed that not everyone gets a big pay day in FA
Well, yeah. the new CBA changed a lot. Just look at the contracts before the new cba (luxury tax threshold and penalties) vs. those after.
Nice, but I would’ve locked up Lindor long term first. Once you start spreading money around the price goes up and up and up $$$$$$$
That’s assuming London wants a long term contract. It takes two to tango.
I doubt Lindor signs any kind of under-market extension. He might already be the best shortstop in baseball and he’s going to absolutely get paid like it.
I agree Jose came out of nowhere and wanted to cash in lindour is a star and will be looking for big money
Great move, Tribe. Now, let’s take care of Lindor!
From Jeff Passan, 4 years, 26 million, plus two team options worth 11 and 13 million for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, respectively.
He’s a good player worth a lot more than there gonna pay him
That’s a little overpay and might be too early to extend him. In any case good for him. He wouldn’t have gotten half that in the open market.
He would’ve gotten much more than half that on the open market as a 24 year old coming off a 4 WAR season with an .825 OPS.
Lindor will get close to 4 times what Ramirez just got for the same amount of time. That’s only 104mil over 4years for lindor. So if the Indians can afford him he’ll probably reach 150mil over 8 years plus 2 options and a few opt outs. Javy Baez will get something similar to lindor if he gets that deal in the near future. That’s a whole new discussion the cubs in 3 years or less will have enough money to lock up all 6 of their core players. I can’t see them letting them go.
Francisco Lindor is a significantly better player than Javier Baez right now. They don’t even belong in the same conversation. Lindor is worth so much more.
we will see about Baez right now he’s not even close to that deal he still has to prove himself
you make cubs fans look bad
As much as I want Lindor to be in Cleveland for the rest of his career, I don’t think they can afford him.
And that’s why you go all in as early as possible. The kid will take less now for the guarantee, but as time goes on it’ll be that much harder to make it work.
If the Indians can keep up their current success and keep extending young talent, Lindor might be more inclined to make a extension work.
Obviously the money has to be right for Lindor and that won’t be cheap.
But if he enjoys playing in Cleveland a deal might be easier to negotiate
I’m a Cubs fan through and through. Because of lindor and Javy Baez friendship. I am a fan of lindor now. Wish him all the best in his career. I can’t see Lindor staying with Cleveland when he hits the FA market. If he does.
Great reasoning here
Maybe on offense. But defensively they are equal and not even Lindor tags like Baez. Hope Theo and Jed Extend him for along time. Doesn’t have to be now. 2 or 3 years from now. 7year deal would be great.
Definitely on offense, and Lindor is the best defensive shortstop in the AL and possibly the MLB.
Baez isn’t even the best Second Baseman in the NL
OMG Baez is sooooo good at tagging. He’s the best.
You do realize that the difference between making “great” tags and normal tags is MAYBE a couple outs a year, right? Just because he makes it look “cool” doesn’t mean it’s actually more effective… There’s literally no difference between a guy making an everyday, normal tag and Baez making a tag while celebrating with his other arm. They both achieve the exact same thing, one just looks flashier.
Baez is easily the best Second baseman in the NL the only reason he didn’t get a gold glove is because he can play SS 3rd and 1st and play them quite well. That’s the only reason Joe Panik won. Panik isn’t even on Baez’s level.
Baez if disciplined he could get a gold glove blindfolded and he could easily reach 40 hrs too. Panik will never hit 20. A guy like Baez comes around once every 10 years. Maybe. Raw power easily the best defensive 2nd baseman in baseball and its not even close.
Yah, you’re right. He can easily reach 40 homers. He’s probably the best player in baseball. No idea why everybody else doesn’t see that.
Wow. You can tell who started watching baseball in the World Series. Baez is a lot closer to Kolten Wong than Francisco Lindor.
Except Baez never complains about his role on the team, as Wong does.
And if the Cubs extend Baez, it will be based on better reasoning and talent/makeup evaluation than Mo’s puzzling extension of Wong, who lacks both adaptability and makeup.
Such a great defensive 2B the Flubbies were trying to convert him to OF. Very good player, a lot of people like him, don’t let your ridiculous over the top hype ruin that.
“Flubbies” haha. Did you make that up, along with “Bee’s Knees” and “23-Skidoo” ?
South Side wit….spare me.
No wonder nobody ever felt sorry for the franchise and over a hundred years of futility.
Please stop. You are making all Cubs fans look bad.. Jesus
Trolls gonna troll
Kinda sounds like you’re the troll actually.
Yeah seriously. Either you’re just another annoying Cubs fan or you’re hot for Javy Baez.
Don’t call other people trolls when you comment 7 times on a post about Jose Ramirez and mention him once and Baez five
I think a Lindor extension depends on Progressive Field’s attendance this year. If the Tribe can draw more then 2.5 million fans, then ownership will see the support they have for the next few years and go ahead and open his checkbook a little more. You are realistically looking at a Tribe payroll in upwards of $130+ million in 2020