Versatile infielder Jose Ramirez and the Cleveland Indians are finalizing a four-year contract extension that will guarantee him upward of $30 million, sources familiar with the deal told Yahoo Sports.
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.
The 24-year-old Ramirez is coming off a breakout year in which he helped the Indians to the World Series and the cusp of a championship. He hit .312/.363/.462 and was a veritable Swiss Army knife around the diamond, playing third base, second base, shortstop and outfield.
Signing players as the regular season dawns is nothing new for the Indians, who locked up pitchers Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco in similar fashion two years ago.
Among those three and Jason Kipnis, Cleveland has four core players under contract through at least 2020. The Indians fortified themselves even more at the July trade deadline by acquiring ace reliever Andrew Miller and signed slugger Edwin Encarnacion over the winter.
Ramirez, expected to be the Indians’ full-time third baseman this season, could start the year as their second baseman, with a shoulder injury likely sidelining Kipnis for opening day.
Popular video from Yahoo Sports: