MLB Rumors: Jose Ramirez Trade Pursued by Blue Jays amid Guardians Contract Talks

Erin WalshApril 3, 2022

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - MARCH 22: Jose Ramirez #11 of the Cleveland Guardians poses during Photo Day at Goodyear Ballpark on March 22, 2022 in Goodyear, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
Chris Coduto/Getty Images

The Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly "pushing hard" to acquire Cleveland Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez, according to MLB insider Hector Gomez

The news comes after the Guardians reportedly made another contract offer to Ramirez of five years and $104 million. Gomez notes Cleveland is "low balling" the veteran slugger in contract negotiations. 

The Guardians set an Opening Day deadline to get an extension with Ramirez completed, but The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday that the two sides aren't close to an agreement. 

Ramirez is set to make $12 million in 2022 and has a $14 million club option for 2023. He's expected to earn a hefty amount of money on his next deal and, according to The Athletic's Zack Meisel, the Guardians "almost certainly" are prepared to make Ramirez the highest-paid player in franchise history. 

Considering the team continues to make him lackluster offers, though, it's hard to believe he would make more than the three-year, $60 million deal Edwin Encarnacion signed with the franchise in 2016.

The Guardians also have the second-lowest payroll in baseball at $37.4 million, according to Spotrac, and have continued to slash payroll in recent seasons. Signing Ramirez to an extension would likely significantly increase the team's payroll. 

If the two sides don't come to an agreement soon, the door will be left open for the Blue Jays to swoop in and potentially acquire the three-time All-Star. 

If Toronto were to acquire Ramirez, he would likely shift to second base, where he's played 145 games over his nine-year career. That would leave Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at first, Matt Chapman at third and Bo Bichette at shortstop.

Ramirez would have little issue slotting into the Blue Jays lineup. Last season, the 29-year-old slashed .266/.355/.538 with 36 home runs and 103 RBI.

The Dominican native reportedly wants to play his entire career in Cleveland and is "comfortable" with the team, though, according to Gomez. However, should discussions fall apart in the coming days and Ramirez be traded to Toronto, the Jays would field perhaps the most dangerous lineup in MLB.