Report: Jose Ramirez, Guardians Agree to New 5-Year, $124M Contract amid Trade Rumors

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVApril 6, 2022

Cleveland Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez sits on the infield dirt after failing to make a force out at second base against the Milwaukee Brewers during the third inning of a spring training baseball game Tuesday, March 29, 2022, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

The Cleveland Guardians have reportedly agreed to a long-term extension with third baseman Jose Ramirez amid trade speculation.

Per ESPN's Jeff Passan, Ramirez's deal is for an additional $124 million over five years and includes a full no-trade clause. 

The agreement is on top of the remaining $26 million from his previous deal, bringing the total value to $150 million over seven years. 

Ramirez, 29, has spent his first nine-plus seasons with the Guardians, emerging as one of the best third basemen in the sport. He's had 20-20 seasons in three of the last four years, with the exception being the COVID-19-shortened 2020 campaign.

Ramirez has finished in the top six of American League MVP voting four times in the past five seasons. He hit .266/.355/.538 with 36 homers, 103 RBI and 27 stolen bases in 152 games last season. 

The Guardians and Ramirez had been in contract extension negotiations for months, but talks ramped up ahead of the season. 

Zack Maisel of The Athletic reported Ramirez had been "content" to spend the rest of his career in Cleveland. However, the Guardians have largely stripped any high spending from their roster in recent seasons.

Facing an Opening Day deadline to get a deal done, there had been trade speculation involving Ramirez. 

Hector Gomez of Z101 Digital reported Tuesday that the San Diego Padres were "showing a lot of interest" in Ramirez. 

Gomez previously reported the Toronto Blue Jays were "pushing hard" to make a deal for the star. 

No player on Cleveland's 2022 Opening Day roster besides Ramirez is making more than $6 million. The team sat out the free-agency period, declining to improve a roster that was 80-82 last season even though ace Shane Bieber dealt with injuries. 

Signing Ramirez should help satiate a fanbase that has grown tired of ownership's penny-pinching. The Dolan family, which owns a majority stake in the Guardians, has a higher net worth than the big-spending Steinbrenner family that owns the New York Yankees.

While Cleveland is a significantly smaller market than New York, Dan Gilbert has consistently spent money to build winners for the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. Rather than following suit, the Dolan family has taken to hoarding the revenue from the team while seeing its value increase on a yearly basis.

Ramirez should slot in as a face-of-the-franchise talent, along with Bieber, who should also soon be in extension talks.