Jose Ramirez, Guardians agree to 5-year extension

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Indians
Sep 24, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez (11) hits an RBI single during the sixth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Third baseman Jose Ramirez and the Cleveland Guardians have agreed to a five-year, $124 million extension on Wednesday morning, as first reported by Jeff Passan:

The deal seems to be an abrupt shift after rumors swirled for days that the team could look to trade their star to San Diego. The exact structure of the deal is still being ironed out, but the five years would include the two option years that are currently remaining on Ramírez’s deal. That means the new money in this deal would be $124 million over five years but the totality of the deal would be five years with a guarantee of $150 million.

Ramírez had been playing this season on a team option with a $12 million base salary. His 2023 contract was also a team option with a base salary of $14 million, but those two options will now be pushed back to the end of his new five-year deal.

Sep 28, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez (11) celebrates in the dugout after scoring against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

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The 29-year-old was an All-Star in 2021 and finished 6th in AL MVP voting after hitting .266/.355/.538 with 36 HRs, 111 Runs, 103 RBI, and 27 SB. It was his third straight full MLB season with 24 or more stolen bases and 23 or more home runs, making him one of the few consistent 20/20 players remaining in baseball.

Last season, Ramírez was the 6th-best player in baseball by WAR (Wins Above Replacement), which uses offensive and defensive stats to categorize how much better a player was than the replacement level at his position. Also a three-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger, Ramírez is one of the best players in the game and a great player for the Guardians to build around.

Shockingly, Ramírez is now the only player on the Guardians with money committed to him beyond the 2022 season. With a full no trade clause in the new contract, a young roster, and talented prospects on the way, the Guardians are clearly looking to Ramírez to anchor their lineup for years to come.