Some stories have been written about Ramirez being an underdog, or a forgotten about player.
Those paying attention know he is among the best in the game.
All one needs to do is check out the WAR leaderboards to see proof of that.
We will use FanGraphs as our basis for reference in this article.
The service has Ramirez with a WAR of 1.3 so far in 2021.
That has him ranked No. 15 among MLB batters, with Mike Trout leading the way at 2.5.
The Young Star’s Season so Far
— Today in MLB (@TodayintheMLB) May 6, 2021
Ramirez has already launched nine home runs this season, which is one behind the MLB lead.
He also has 19 RBIs and a .891 OPS in 32 games.
Many fans saw the team trading Francisco Lindor away as a sign that the star power was gone.
But Ramirez has been the one routinely finishing as an American League MVP finalist.
The highest Lindor ever finished was fifth back in 2017.
Ramirez finished at least third three times from 2017-2020.
So far this year it has mostly been Ramirez and Franmil Reyes carrying the load on offense.
Thus it has been up to Ramirez to keep up his usual ways.
The Ultimate Question
The Indians should have a note that reads “Re-Sign Jose Ramirez” hanging in the front office at all times.
It’s easy for baseball players these days to not get the credit they deserve across the map, but we need to start talking more about how Jose Ramirez is one of the best Cleveland Indians of all time. Tremendous player (consistent elite player for years) and the 🐐 personality.
— Jeff Svoboda (@JeffSvoboda) May 6, 2021
He cannot leave anytime soon.
The Indians hold club options on him in both 2022 and 2023.
But why not please everyone and buy out those two years as part of a new long-term deal?
Ramirez is still only 28 years old and should command serious money if the Indians do not give him an extension.
However, they may end up trading him before the 2023 season if there is no intention of keeping him around.
At some point the Indians are going to hand out a major contract.
Shane Bieber is a candidate to receive one, but Ramirez should be first on the list.
Not wanting to commit over $300 million to Lindor is one thing.
How about something in the $200 million range for Ramirez?
He is arguably the better player right now and the Indians would be getting an absolute bargain.
This is the conversation fans are forced to have considering all stars that pass through town seem to be on a course for a trade.
The good news is that the Indians have Ramirez in his prime.
He is keeping the team in contention this season and should do the same in 2022.
Rewarding him for his work would be the right thing to do and would ensure the team can’t do a major tear down at any point in the near future.
That is just good for business in the long-term.