Much like the heralded teams that John Hart built in the 1990’s, the Cleveland Indians have players that are worth locking up. Also much like those Indians of old, it appears that it’s a priority for the team to exert some control over the most productive years of said players’ careers. Jose Ramirez is hopefully the start as Francisco Lindor should never play for another team in his career, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It appears Jose Ramirez will be with the Indians for the foreseeable future.
Jeff Passan was the first to report the news of the deal. The details came quickly thereafter.
The deal, which includes two club options, will kick in next season and give the Indians control of Ramirez through the 2023 season. If the Indians exercise the options, it could push the value close to $50 million, according to the sources.
Passan also later tweeted that the option years are for $11 mil and $13 mil respectively.
This is phenomenal news for Cleveland Indians fans. It’s also great for Jose Ramirez. The deal will begin in 2018 according to Passan’s report. It’s going to be a monumental raise compared to the roughly $500,000 that Ramirez earned in 2016 as he helped propel them to the World Series with his iconic helmet-dropping scampers around the bases.
In 2016, Ramirez had a .312/.363/.462 slash in 152 games, with 84 runs, 11 homers and 22 stolen bases. His K% was 10.0%, and his BB% was 7.1%, with a .333 BABIP, a 122 wRC+, and he was a 4.8 WAR player.
His arrival on the Cleveland Indians was one of WFNY’s top stories in our year-end series. Jim Pete smithed the words.
Ramirez, carrying fire in his hair and thunder in his heart, actually started his 2016 American League onslaught on a cold and meaningless game late in the 2015 season. With the Indians leading the Minnesota Twins 7-1, JRam, as he’s become affectionately known to local Cleveland fans, as much for his Manny Ramirez-like attitude as for name convenience, had spent the entire 2015 season struggling to find the swagger that had allowed him to skyrocket through the Indians’ system. Then, he debuted as a 20-year old rookie, called up during the team’s 2013 playoff run. When he successfully replacing the traded Asdrubal Cabrera at shortstop the following year, he made a clear case that he should be a regular in the line-up for years to come, and not just glue to fill the cracks until the much more heralded prospects earned their call-up…
In the end, Jose Ramirez truly is greater than the sum of his parts, but what folks don’t realize, are that the parts that make up Jose Ramirez are already better than most. Like Manny Ramirez before him, he’s a baseball savant, that was built with the type of IQ that most work for years to acquire. Like Manny Ramirez before him, he is an enigma on and off the field, making head scratching decisions, that are often overcome by pure talent, energy, charisma and joy. Yet, JRam works at the game every day, of every year, still working out on the same Dominican fields that he grew up on, giving back to the kids in his old neighborhood.
It’s this mystical combination that likely made Ramirez arguably the teams Most Valuable Player in 2016, and had the city of Cleveland pronouncing a new era in Indians’ baseball: the era of #JRamForever.
Michael Hattery has also covered Jose Ramirez extensively for WFNY.
Keep it pointed right here for more celebratory posts and more than likely a podcast on the Indians extension of Jose Ramirez. Hopefully the Lindor extension too.