Jose Ramirez is the Cleveland Guardians’ most important player, the one who will likely shape the franchise’s future one way or another.
Cleveland would love to extend Ramirez, who is playing under a $12 million salary in 2022 and has another team option for $14 million in 2023.
The player, however, is one of MLB’s most valuable players, and has already given Cleveland a discount when he signed a four-year, $26 million contract extension, including club options in 2022 and 2023, before the 2017 campaign.
This time, he will want to collect every penny.
Amid extension discussions, the Guardians are also considering trading him for a massive haul that starts over the rebuilding clock in Cleveland.
“SOURCE: The #Padres are showing a lot of interest in making a trade with the #Guardians to get star 3B Jose Ramirez before the Opening Day’s deadline,” MLB insider Hector Gomez wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) April 5, 2022
A San Diego Padres infield with Ramirez, Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Luke Voit would be in contention for a top-three unit in baseball (Ramirez could play second base and has experience there).
Cleveland Would Ask For The Moon In Any Ramirez Trade
It would take a massive haul of prospects and MLB-ready players to get Cleveland’s attention, though, because Ramirez is both young and productive.
The 29-year-old perennial MVP candidate slashed .266/.355/.538 with 36 home runs, 111 runs scored, 103 RBI, and 27 stolen bases in 2021.
He finished second in the 2020 MVP race, too, with a .292/.386/.607 line that year.
In the end, with the Guardians having to extend both Shane Bieber and Ramirez in the upcoming seasons, they may not have enough money for both, so they could very well entertain the possibility of trading the other.
Will it be Ramirez or Bieber?