CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.
Major League Baseball as a whole is set to enter an uncertain time with an impending labor dispute as the collective bargaining agreement between the MLB and MLBPA is set to expire, but that doesn’t mean business stops already.
The Cleveland Guardians made their first move of the offseason on Thursday, as they have exercised the team option on third baseman José Ramírez for the 2022 season. The news was first reported by Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Ramírez is set to make $12 million next season, in what is universally viewed as a bargain for the team. Ramírez has a chance to finish in the top five of the American League Most Valuable Player voting for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
This season, Ramirez played in 152 games for Cleveland, hitting .266 with 36 home runs, 32 doubles, 103 runs batted in and 27 stolen bases in 31 attempts. Ramírez finished sixth in baseball with an fWAR of 6.3. By the same metric, Ramírez is third in all of baseball with an fWAR of 28 since the start of the 2017 season, trailing only MVP winners Mike Trout and Mookie Betts.
The Guardians may attempt to come to terms with Ramírez on a contract extension that would keep him in Cleveland long term, although he does have another club option -- worth $14 million -- that likely will be exercised next season. If the team is unable to come to a long-term agreement, Ramírez’s name could be one that pops up in trade rumors throughout the offseason.