Blue Jays: I was out, and then you pulled me back in
Just when it seemed like the Jose Ramirez to the Blue Jays rumours might finally go away, there are new reports coming out of Cleveland regarding his extension talks.
It doesn’t sound like things are particularly close, although it’s hard to truly know at this stage. MLB insider Hector Gomez reported on Saturday that the Guardians have made an updated offer to Ramirez’s camp that includes an extension of five years and 104 million on to the two years they already have him under control. If that’s true, I can understand why Ramirez and his agents are balking at a potential seven years at 130 million for the 28 year old, especially because he’s a superior player to those that have received double that rate.
It’s hard to know just how much this could change Cleveland’s plans, but many are already speculating that if they can’t get an extension done before the regular season begins, then perhaps the Guardians will re-think whether they are willing to trade their All-Star third baseman. If that’s the case, don’t be the least bit surprised if the rumours start flying around interest from the Blue Jays even if they’ve already brought in Matt Chapman to fill the vacancy at the hot corner. Ramirez is a capable second baseman as well, and that’s where the Blue Jays would line him up if they were to acquire him.
Arguably the most complicating factor here would be whether the Blue Jays would be willing to extend Ramirez right away if they acquired him in a trade. The easy answer is yes of course they would, and if they can get the kind of bargain that Cleveland is seeking right now then I’m sure they’d be all for it. That said, they do have to worry about eventually trying to extend their young core stars like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette as well, and it’s hard to say if they could get the job done for all three players right away. There isn’t the same urgency for Bo and Vlad Jr. since they are four years away from free agency, but the longer the Blue Jays wait to try and extend them, the more it’s likely going to cost.
In my eyes, Ramirez would be a luxury at this stage of the game, even if he’d be a near perfect fit in the projected lineup in Toronto these days. He’s one of the best hitters in the world period, and his left-handed bat would slot perfectly between George Springer and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to start each game. However, they already have one of baseball’s most dangerous lineups without Ramirez in the fold, and what’s turned out to be a fairly deep roster to start the 2022 campaign.
It’s not worth spending too much time thinking about just yet, but unless Ramirez and the Guardians can get something worked out over the next few days, you can fully expect to hear rumours involving interest from the Blue Jays. Just when I thought we were done with this whole thing, we’re likely going to get pulled right back in.