Cleveland Guardians: How much to extend Jose Ramirez’s contract

Cleveland Guardians (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Cleveland Guardians (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Everyone is kind of expecting the Cleveland Guardians to flub the Jose Ramirez contract negotiations, which is unsurprising as the organization has a poor track record of signing or keeping its starts.

With it being reported the talks are going “slow,” and an unofficial deadline of Opening Day (April 7) looming over the negotiations, one wonders what it might take to keep Ramirez an Indian/Guardian for life.

MLB Trade rumors pointed out that the most guaranteed money the Guards ever gave away was to Edwin Encarnacion on the heels of the Indians run to the World Series in 2016. It took a three-year, $60 million pact.

According to the site, the Guardians are going to have to at least double that sum–and probably do more–to keep Ramirez.

Long-time beat writer pointed out the contracts given to other players around Ramirez’s age. Even though he wouldn’t be a free agent until after the 2023 season under his contact (assuming Guardians pick up next 2023 option), J-Ram still stands to cash in.

"“Several players this offseason signed big free agent deals at or around age 31. Freddie Freeman, 32, signed a six-year $162 million deal with the Dodgers; Kris Bryant, 30, signed a seven-year $182 million deal with the Rockies and Marcus Semien, 31, signed a seven-year $175 million deal with Texas, Hoynes wrote.”"

Other comparable deals being tossed around in the press include the eight-year, $168 million extension signed by Matt Olson with the Braves, as well as Jose Altuve’s seven-year, $163.5 million agreement with the Astros.

Cleveland Guardians need to get it done

The Guardians have a little leverage in talks, as Ramirez is due just $12 million this season, and $14 million next season. That’s a bargain for someone who truly is one of the game’s elite position players.

Perhaps more money upfront would entice Ramirez to ink a new deal. He signed his previous extension after the 2016 campaign. The Guards tried to lock up Francisco Lindor at the time as well, but the big day looks to have always been on Lindor’s mind.

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Ramirez and Shane Bieber are by far the most recognizable players on the team. The Guards have the room to sign him, even by their fiscally conservative standards.