Could the Cleveland Indians make Jose Ramirez available in a trade this season? One reporter thinks so.
Ramirez is completing a four-year, $26 million contract he signed in 2017. The deal includes club options for 2022 and 2023 at $12 and $14 million respectively.
Ramirez is a high-quality player and on an extremely affordable contract. That makes him desirable for other teams, but also is why Cleveland wouldn’t be highly motivated to move him.
However, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi believes that the Indians losing close to the deadline could lead them to consider a Ramirez trade.
The Indians have traded Francisco Lindor, Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer in recent years. So we shouldn’t put it past them to consider moving Ramirez.
The 28-year-old is a three-time All-Star and has finished in the top-3 in AL MVP voting three times. The versatile infielder has 20 home runs, 56 RBIs and 10 stolen bases this season. Cleveland would likely need to be blown away by a trade offer to consider parting ways with him.
Jose Ramirez beat all injury timetables and returned to the Cleveland Indians’ lineup on Tuesday for the first time since August 24 despite undergoing surgery on his hand recently. And wouldn’t you believe it? The guy was on absolute fire and homered twice in his first two at-bats — one from each side of the plate.
Ramirez hit a grand slam in the first from the left side off Carson Fulmer.
Two innings later, he slugged a 3-run home run from the right side off Hector Santiago:
Ramirez underwent surgery on August 26 to remove the hamate bone from his right hand. Cleveland.com reported at the time that Ramirez was expected to be out 5-7 weeks and miss the rest of the regular season.
After seeing how his hand looked on August 31, it’s not hard to see why.
But Ramirez kept working his way back and was able to start hitting in batting practice last week. Then Tuesday he returned and gave the Indians a huge lift.
The Indians are contending with the A’s and Rays for the AL wild card spots.
We’re over two months into the MLB season, and things are really starting to take shape across the league. While we’ve been delighted by the performances of numerous star players, there are also some big names that have, for whatever reason, simply failed to launch in 2019 and have actually turned out to be detrimental to their teams.
Which key players aren’t doing enough this season? Here are eight who have disappointed so far.
8. Manny Machado, 3B, Padres
What Machado has meant to the Padres in terms of legitimacy makes up for a lot of on-field struggles, but he hasn’t really delivered at the plate so far for San Diego. The power has been there — he’s into double-digit homers — but his sub-.250 average would be the worst of his career to date. He’s adjusting to a new league and a ballpark that isn’t exactly hitter-friendly, so a bit of a learning curve was to be expected, but this is not what the Padres paid for.
The Cleveland Indians may have some initial positive news on the injury status of Jose Ramirez.
Ramirez was carted off the field after fouling a ball off his leg during Sunday’s Spring Training game.
With Opening Day approaching, there were serious concerns about his status, especially since shortstop Francisco Lindor is dealing with a calf strain. The good news is that ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports Ramirez appears to have avoided a broken bone.
Ramirez has been an All-Star two years in a row and finished No. 3 in AL MVP voting both seasons. The Indians’ lineup will be significantly weakened as long as they are without Ramirez, Lindor and Jason Kipnis.
The Cleveland Indians are not doing well on the injury front on the eve of the new season.
Third baseman Jose Ramirez fouled a ball off his leg during Sunday’s spring training game and went down hard, seemingly unable to get up. He had to be carted off the field.
Cleveland will already be without Jason Kipnis on Opening Day, and Francisco Lindor won’t be ready either as he battles back from a calf strain. Lindor will be back soon, but a long-term injury to Ramirez is not something Cleveland can afford. The third baseman hit .270 with 39 home runs last season, which led to a second consecutive top three finish in MVP voting.
These injuries do have a silver lining. They may have played a role in one prominent veteran winning a roster spot with the team.
The acquisition of Josh Donaldson will result in some major changes for the Cleveland Indians, which Jose Ramirez apparently is willing to embrace under one condition.
Indians manager Terry Francona told reporters on Saturday that Ramirez is willing to move to second base so long as he sticks there and does not move back-and-forth between second and third.
Ramirez is in the middle of a potential MVP season for Cleveland, so moving positions could disrupt his continuity. But it could be a big help to the team if it allows Donaldson into the lineup at third base. Donaldson, a former AL MVP, has been rehabbing from a calf injury in the minor leagues for Toronto. He is batting .237 with a .757 OPS this year.
Jason Kipnis, who has been playing second base for the Indians, is batting just .227 this season and will take balls in the outfield now.
Ramirez is batting .288 with 37 homers and a .996 OPS this season. He ranks fourth in the AL in WAR according to ESPN’s metrics.
The MLB playoff race can conceivably be boiled down to about 12 teams, with one or two more on the fringes but looking less realistic by the day. Those 12 teams are in different spots. Some will feel better than others about their chances of making an impact in the playoffs, but each team has at least one player upon whom they can rely.
Here’s a look at each contender’s most important player.
Arizona Diamondbacks — Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
For a team that has often been known for having a powerhouse offense, the Diamondbacks have at times struggled to get men on base this season. That has not been a problem for Goldschmidt, who remains one of the game’s more overlooked stars. For the fifth time in seven seasons, he has surpassed 30 home runs and is the centerpiece of Arizona’s offense. When he does well, they do well.
With the Cleveland Indians not getting a lot of production out of second base, there has been some talk of moving MVP candidate Jose Ramirez to the position to potentially accommodate a newcomer at third base.
That’s not going to happen, according to manager Terry Francona. The Indians don’t want to mess with success, or potentially put Ramirez at added risk of injury.
Cleveland’s current second baseman is Jason Kipnis, who is hitting .216 on the season and .188 in August. There was a time that Cleveland at least considered trading for a top player who would have likely required an infield shuffle, but that never came to pass and it appears that the moment has gone.
As we head towards the final month of the regular season, the pennant races in baseball are heating up, and so are the awards races. The MVP races in both leagues are looking very intriguing as we get into crunch time.
In the American League, there are several worthy candidates, though two teams are heavily represented. The National League race is even more wide open, with no clear standouts — a factor that could open the door to a pitcher winning the award for the first time since 2014.
Here’s a look at the top five MVP candidates in both the American and National League.
5) Francisco Lindor, Indians
Lindor finished fifth in last year’s voting and he’s having an even better season than he did last year. Hitting just shy of .300 and with his second consecutive 30-home run season in sight, the Cleveland shortstop’s candidacy will be bolstered not just by his offensive numbers, but because he plays quality defense at one of the most important positions on the field. Despite this, he’s viewed as a longshot, as his offensive numbers lag behind those of his key competitors.
Jose Ramirez had nothing but the tough questions for his newest teammate.
Ramirez’s Cleveland Indians acquired Brad Hand in a trade with the San Diego Padres on Thursday. The reliever tweeted his excitement about heading to the Indians.
In response, Ramirez just wanted to know whether Hand plays the classic video game “Mario Kart.”
Hopefully Hand does, because then he would clearly fit in with the rest of his new teammates. We’re surprised he didn’t ask about “Fortnite” instead.