After starting the morning with one of the lowest committed payrolls beyond 2022 in Major League Baseball, the Cleveland Guardians promptly soared up the list with a big contract for star infielder Jose Ramirez.
ESPN's Jeff Passan reported this morning that Ramirez and the Guardians have agreed to a five-year, $124 million contract extension. Ramirez's overall contract with Cleveland now guarantees him upwards of $150 million.
Ramirez is coming off a career-year that saw him score a career-high 111 runs and make his third All-Star appearance in five years. But the Guardians still considered moving him all the way until he agreed to their contract offer.
Guardians fans can hardly believe the turnaround. Given the team's stingy reputation, they're collectively stunned that they got Ramirez to agree to terms rather than just trade him to the San Diego Padres, as was rumored for a while:
Jose Ramirez was born in Bani, Costa Rica but moved to the United States as a teenage prospect to sign a deal with Cleveland. He spent several years in lower leagues before making his MLB debut in 2013 at age 20 - and quickly made an impact.
By 2016, Ramirez was a regular on Cleveland's starting lineup and quickly rising through the ranks. He finished 17th in MVP voting that year before back-to-back All-Star, Silver Slugger and third-place MVP voting in 2017 and 2018.
After a down 2019, Ramirez dominated during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, winning yet another Silver Slugger and finishing second in MVP voting after leading the American League in runs.
Did the Cleveland Guardians make the right move giving Jose Ramirez this new contract?