Cleveland Guardians star Jose Ramirez was nearly traded just before his contract extension…to the San Diego Padres.
The Guardians thankfully upped their offer to Ramirez — who ended up signing a five-year, $124 million contract — just before Opening Day. So Cleveland baseball fans can take a sigh of relief.
However, when the two sides were at a stalemate, the Guardians did their due diligence. Cleveland shopped Ramirez around to see what they could get for hi in return should the two sides not be able to reach an agreement. While it was long reported that the Toronto Blue Jays were interested, the San Diego Padres were also among the buyers.
Per Ken Rosenthal:
“The effect of the Guardians’ trade discussions on Ramírez — and how much they scared him into accepting the team’s offer — is not known. But The Athletic’s Zack Meisel reported, ‘When Ramírez woke up on the final day of spring training, he decided he wanted to end the stalemate. … He called his agent and directed him to find some middle ground with Cleveland’s front office.’”
Jose Ramirez trade rumors: Guardians used Padres to increase urgency
While Rosenthal doesn’t flat-out say it, it sounds like the Guardians shopped Ramirez in part to get him to sit back down at the table. Ramirez wanted to get a deal done to stay in Cleveland, but hearing that the front office was making him available to other potential suitors scared him.
The Padres and Guardians are two organizations that know each other quite well. Cleveland is very familiar with the Padres farm system, and surely they could’ve worked something out. But Ramirez wanted to stay in Cleveland all along, and the Guardians knew this, giving them the upper hand.
In the end, the Padres really never stood a chance as long as the star infielder was willing to bend to Cleveland’s will.