How badly did Jose Ramirez want to stay with the Cleveland Guardians? Reportedly, when ownership told the third baseman they couldn’t pay him what he’s worth, Ramirez said, he didn’t care.
That’s what J-Ram’s agent, Rafa Nieves told ESPN.com (subscription required) in a story regarding the lead-up to the seven-year, $141 million extension signed by the three-time All-Star.
Nieves agent added that he and his client were on “two different planets” regarding contract extensions after two Cleveland offers, one in November, and one in March, were below Ramirez’s market value.
"“I tried to talk him out of it,” Nieves said. “Everyone tried to talk him out of it.”"
This story was published on the morning of a day when the Guardians begin a four-game series against the Blue Jays and follows a two-game tilt against the Blue Jays. According to Alden Gonzalez, those two teams had “ramped up” their efforts to trade for Ramirez before Opening Day.
The trade talk only made Ramirez want to get a deal done with the Guardians.
So while Paul Dolan told the fan base to enjoy Francisco Lindor while he was still here, it’s Jose Ramirez that the home crowd shouldn’t take for granted.
We can talk all day about money being the ruination of pro sports, but for Ramirez, it came down to being comfortable in a place that’s become his home. It’s just so crazy because we never see players giving hometown discounts any more.
They always, always take the money. Albert Belle, Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez took the best offers in free agency. C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee had to be dealt because they weren’t sticking around, either. The same is true of Lindor.
Cleveland reportedly offered him $200 million. He got $341 million from the Mets. I think we as fans tend to get lost in the numbers because we read about and talk about these massive contracts on a daily basis. But $141 million additional dollars is gobs and gobs and gobs of money.
Jose Ramirez did what no one else does
I don’t blame those aforementioned players for cashing in, but noting it makes Ramirez a unicorn. He didn’t care, and that’s what sets him apart.
"“He wanted to stay there, and they made it work,” Nieves said, “He knows that he left money on the table, but he says, ‘$150 million or $200 million, my life is gonna be the same. I’m happier with $150 million in Cleveland than $200 million somewhere else.'”"
The offer was enough! You just don’t hear that anymore.
Nobody looks after their own like the Cleveland fan base does, and Ramirez has endeared himself to the home crowd, setting himself up to be an all-time franchise legend.