Wow: The Guardians Are Extending Star 3B José Ramírez on a Very Attractive Deal

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Wow: The Guardians Are Extending Star 3B José Ramírez on a Very Attractive Deal

Chicago Cubs

I guess even José Ramírez doesn’t know how good José Ramírez is.

The Cleveland Guardians have reportedly extended their star third baseman – the perennially under-appreciated, José Ramírez – to a deal that guarantees him just $124 million in new money starting in his age-31 season.

If you include his now-picked-up $11M club option in 2022 and $13M club option in 2023, (though I don’t know why we would, because they were ALWAYS going to be picked up), Ramírez will make $148M from now through 2028 (Passan said $150M, but I think he’s including the $2M buyout and I’m not sure if that makes sense). Either way, that’s far less than he’s likely worth on the open market, especially at the outset of a new CBA. But Ramírez said he wanted to stay in Cleveland and the Guardians were *definitely* going to trade him if he didn’t sign, so … win-win? I guess?

Still, this is a 3x All-Star and 3x Silver Slugger, who’s finished among the top-6 in MVP voting in four of the last five seasons, coming off a .266/.355/.538 (137 wRC+); 36 HRs, and 6.3 WAR campaign in 2021. This just isn’t as much money as you’d expect. It’s not even a $22M average annual value. I’m never going to knock a guy for locking in life-changing money, this deal wipes away the risk of serious injury or underperformance, but I am shocked.

I mean, Kris Bryant just got $182M *starting* in his age-30 season. Anthony Rendon ($245M) and Nolan Arenado ($260+$15M) each cleared the $200M mark by a mile at 30 and 28-years old. So this? This is an under-market deal, a true hometown discount, and I can’t believe the Guardians pulled it off. Now they better continue building around him, because Ramírez is too good of a player. He deserves a winner.

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami