Jose Ramirez rumors: Contract stand-off a bad sign for Guardians

The Cleveland Guardians may have signed reliever Emmanuel Clase, but they remain far apart with the star of their squad — slugger Jose Ramirez.

The Guardians have an April 7 deadline for extension talks with Ramirez, which also happens to be Opening Day. While there was some initial hope that the two sides would get something done, talks reportedly broke down later this week, leaving some doubt that they can reach an agreement before said deadline.


“Ramirez’s representatives and the Guardians have been talking on and off about an extension. This was an important week in trying to get a deal done, but it appears negotiations have bogged down, if not ended.”

Ramirez is already the highest-paid player on the Guardians, but that isn’t saying much, as he makes $12 million this season with a club option for 2023. Considering his actual value, Ramirez is a steal.

His agent knows it, which is why the two sides are talking extension now. Still, it seems the Guardians are in no hurry to give in, especially since they have the club option for next year.

Jose Ramirez extension goes against Guardians nature

The Guardians have never given a player more than $60 million guaranteed, which is the contract they signed then-free agent Edwin Encarnacion to in the 2016-17 offseason. Ramirez would want more than that, which is probably why he’s been mentioned in trade rumors this offseason.

If a deal isn’t reached by April 7, expect those rumors to ratchet up to start the season and at the trade deadline. Cleveland figures to be a team near the middle of the standings in the AL Central, and as a result would be willing to sell to a contender come late July.

Ramirez’s affordability is one of his most attractive assets, but any team that acquires him would have to engage in these same contract talks. Perhaps teams that don’t consider themselves small-market would be more interested in a player of his caliber.