Jose Ramirez Rumors: Cleveland 'Would Love' to Sign Star to Contract Extension

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 17, 2021

Cleveland Indians' Jose Ramirez flips the ball to a teammate prior to the team's spring training baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, March 12, 2021, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Cleveland's Major League Baseball team "would love" to sign third baseman Jose Ramirez to another long-term deal, per ESPN's Jeff Passan:

"Ramirez's long-term deal has paid enormous dividends for Cleveland—and it would love to do another, according to sources. Ramirez, 28, has resisted. Cleveland isn't losing sleep over it. He remains under contract for this season at $9.4 million, with an $11 million club option for 2022 and a $13 million club option for 2023."

In 2017, Cleveland signed Ramirez to a five-year, $26 million contract extension that will run through this season. However, as Passan noted, Ramirez is under team control through 2023 should Cleveland decide to exercise its 2022 and 2023 options.

Ramirez has been sensational since the extension with a 162-game average of 36 home runs, 104 RBI and 28 stolen bases from 2017-2020, per Baseball-Reference. He's slashed .284/.367/.549 during that time as well.

Ramirez's value to the team is also more important than ever this year after Cleveland traded star shortstop Francisco Lindor to the New York Mets.

The onus is on Ramirez to carry a greater weight in a Cleveland lineup that struggled at the dish last year with a .228 batting average (12th in the AL) and 59 homers (last in the AL).

Ramirez led the team with 17 home runs (no other Cleveland player had more than nine) and a .993 OPS (no other player had an OPS over .800).

Naturally, Cleveland would love the nine-year MLB veteran to stick around. We'll see if a long-term contract materializes, but for now, Cleveland is gearing up for its 2021 season, which will start Thursday, April 1 at the Detroit Tigers.