3. Jose Ramirez, 3B, Indians
This past offseason, Jose Ramirez was a rumored trade target. After Justin Turner signed back with the Dodgers, it was reported that the Cleveland Indians were making Ramirez available and fans were jumping to that bandwagon.
The Indians ended up not trading Ramirez and currently sit in second place in the AL Central. They’re going to end up trying to compete for a playoff spot this year and likely will not sell off their franchise cornerstone.
They traded Francisco Lindor this past offseason because he was not going to sign a long term deal with the club and they wanted to get something for him before he became a free agent this winter. Ramirez, meanwhile, is under team control through 2023 with a series of club options that are very team-friendly considering the production he puts up.
Ramirez has put up an above-average OPS+ every year since 2016 and would be a fantastic addition to the middle of the Brewers lineup.
But it won’t happen.
The Indians aren’t going to have a major sell off mid-season this year and with their financial restraints, having a player like Ramirez with the kind of contract he’s under is exactly what they want. Ramirez will earn just $9.4MM in 2021 and then has a $11MM option for 2022 and a $13MM option for 2023. So Ramirez will make just $33.4MM over three years, which about what Francisco Lindor would cost for one season on his new deal.
The Indians will keep Ramirez, and even if they shop him around, the price it would take to acquire him would be far too high for Stearns’ comfort.
The Brewers will have to look elsewhere for any addition at third base and already looked elsewhere at shortstop, because we can already rule out the Brewers acquiring Trevor Story, Kris Bryant, or Jose Ramirez.
When it comes to the deadline, sometimes the superstar acquisitions don’t end up being the best moves made.