Padres rumored to be targeting Guardians star José Ramírez
The San Diego Padres are reportedly still hoping to make a big splash before Opening Day.
The latest rumor has them targeting Cleveland Guardians star José Ramírez, who could add some serious bat power to a Padres lineup that has to make do without Fernando Tatis Jr. for a few months.
Late last week, Paul Hoynes of cleveland.com reported that extension talks between the Guardians and Ramírez seemed “to have broken down,” and that the organization set a deadline of April 7, their Opening Day, for any contract extensions.
Cot’s Baseball Contracts estimates the Guardians’ Opening Day payroll to be at $51.6M, and a slightly higher, yet still well under the $230M Competitive Balance Threshold luxury tax payroll of $71.5M. They are the third-cheapest payroll in the American League, and at least $30M lower than every team in their division.
Ramirez is the Guardians’ highest-paid player, though that’s clearly not saying much. He’s owed a $12M salary for 2022, and the club can either pick up his $14M option or pay him a $2M buyout for 2023. He also has several performance escalators and bonuses that he can hit to add to his paycheck, including winning another Silver Slugger or having another All-Star season, two things he’s achieved three times already in his nine-year career.
The key issue in this trade on the Padres’ end is money. Trading for Oakland A’s pitched Sean Manaea this week put them over the CBT by almost $4M, and despite their best efforts, the Padres have been unable to unload the boondoggle contract of Eric Hosmer on some poor, unwitting team. Earlier in the spring, they seemed resigned to riding out the year and resetting the tax, not wanting to exceed it two seasons in a row, as doing so in consecutive years comes with increased penalties. However, there’s also an argument to be made that if a club is spending this much on their roster, they might as well go all-in, otherwise, the whole thing is an enormous waste of money.
Update: Guardians ink José Ramírez to lucrative extension
The Padres lost out on yet another valuable upgrade, as the Guardians finally decided to spend some of their money and extend Ramírez. According to Jeff Passan, they are in agreement on a five-year extension with a $124M price tag and full no-trade clause. It’s a blow to the Padres, whom Passan reports “thought they had a real shot at landing Ramírez.”