The baseball rumor mill is rarely silent, especially in February!
The latest rumor going around Major League Baseball is that the Cleveland Indians may consider trading their best hitter, Jose Ramirez.
Cleveland might as well go all in on the rebuild.
Riley is expendable now, Contreras makes Langeliers expendable, De La Cruz is expendable with other SP prospects and Waters is tough but until there is a permanent DH in the NL Ozuna is the left fielder. https://t.co/iYnsWdLeET
— Tyler Coleman (@heels_R_better) February 6, 2021
Tribe fans are nervous because the Indians already traded away the face of their franchise a few weeks ago when they sent Francisco Lindor to the New York Mets.
Will Jose Ramirez be the next great Indians player to get a one way ticket out of C-Town?
Here are 3 reasons why the Indians should NOT trade Jose Ramirez.
1. Trading Ramirez would send an Awful Message to Tribe Fans
Indians President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti swore to Tribe fans that the front office did NOT want to go through an extended rebuilding period.
Trading away the biggest and best bat in the lineup would make many Cleveland fans feel like they were lied to by Antonetti.
Also, Antonetti promised to put some of the cash saved from the Lindor trade back into the ballclub.
The Indians brass made good on this promise by signing two key free agents in Eddie Rosario and Cesar Hernandez.
It would not make much sense for the Indians to sign two key players and then trade away the best hitter on the team the very next week.
If nothing else, trading away Ramirez would signal to all Indians fans that the front office has already given up on the 2021 season before it has even started!
2. The Indians are still a Playoff Caliber Team
The Tribe is still a team that possesses playoff level talent on the roster.
The 2020 Cleveland Indians finished 10 games over .500 at 35-25 and just barely missed the American League Central crown to the Twins by 1 game.
Yes, it was arguably the weirdest season of all time due to the pandemic.
Yes, the Tribe lost key pieces like Santana, Lindor, and Carrasco.
However, Cleveland brings back the reigning Cy Young Award Winner in Shane Bieber.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) September 12, 2020
All Indians fans have “Bieber-Fever” and with good reason!
The ace right-hander is still only 25 years old and keeps improving each season.
Also, with the signing of Eddie Rosario, the Indians now have a powerful 1-2 punch (Ramirez and Rosario) hitting in the 3 and 4 slots in the lineup.
The Tribe also is blessed with loads of young talent that could really come into their own during the 2021 campaign.
Guys like Triston McKenzie, Josh Naylor, Franmil Reyes, and former Met Andres Gimenez all have an immense level of potential.
If these young bucks can contribute enough production, a 2021 Playoff berth is within reach.
Yes, Cleveland is more likely to make the playoffs via a Wild Card berth instead of a division title.
However, without Jose Ramirez, this Tribe lineup would do good just to win 80 games.
3. Trading Ramirez would Hurt Ticket Sales
Major League Baseball has come out and said that fans will be allowed to attend games in 2021.
MLB’s Rob Manfred: Fans can attend games in 2021, but there’s a catch https://t.co/vehPVNBsyX
— Panda Sports (@RealPandaSports) December 16, 2020
Although attendance will be limited, some ticket sales is far better than no ticket sales.
Jose Ramirez is a 2-time All-Star and he has finished in the Top 3 for the AL MVP Award in 3 seasons since 2017.
The 28-year old switch hitter is dynamite at the plate!
Simply put, Ramirez puts butts in the seats at Progressive Field.
Trading Ramirez would hurt the attendance at all Indians home games which obviously hurts team revenue.
What Will Happen?
Will the Tribe trade Jose Ramirez?
Thankfully, the Indians front office has stated that the team is not interested in moving Ramirez.
Tribe fans can only hope for a good start to the 2021 season because Dolan, Antonetti, and company may revisit that decision if the Indians get too far out of the Wild Card race.