The Cleveland Guardians have shown through the last couple of seasons that most of their roster is, literally, for sale.
When good players who could have some potential trade value are coming closer to free agency, the Guardians flip them for prospects or cheap assets.
It’s a cycle.
However, Shane Bieber and Jose Ramirez are the exceptions of the rule: they could be had, sure, but a team would have to offer Cleveland its entire farm system just to get them interested.
Those two are close to untouchable, as the two building blocks of a somewhat unstable franchise.
Ramirez in particular is a top-10 player in MLB, even if he is well outside the top 100 in marketing.
Rumor has it that there could be an extension in the works for the reliable switch-hitter.
“A new contract extension is coming for #JoseRamírez from #Cleveland, we will be waiting for this good news followed closely #BaseBall #MLB,” Mike Rodriguez of Univision reported.
Jose Ramirez deserves it. https://t.co/lMBfwtYmda
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) March 29, 2022
The report received the approval of another MLB reporter, Hector Gomez, so there appears to be, at least, some sort of talks between Ramirez and the organization.
Ramirez Likely Won’t Give Any Discounts
Ramirez, however, has already signed a cheap contract with Cleveland.
Before the 2017 season, Ramirez signed a four-year, $26 million contract with Cleveland, with an annual average salary of $6.5 million.
Since he had a club option in 2022 and the Guardians picked it up, Ramirez will earn a base salary of $12 million this year.
That’s an extremely team-friendly contract for a player that has produced 34.3 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) and is still just 29.
Ramirez was pretty darn close to winning the 2020 AL MVP award and played like an MVP last year, slashing .266/.355/.538 with 36 home runs, 111 runs, 103 RBI and 27 stolen bases.
He will make much, much more than $12 million per year in his next contract.