CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Indians exercised José Ramírez’s $ 12 million contract option for 2022 on Friday after the All-Star third baseman had another MVP-caliber season.
Ramirez was one of the only bright spots in the team’s inconsistent offense. The 29-year-old hit .266 with 36 homers, 103 RBIs and 27 steals in the final year of a four-year, $ 26 million friendly contract.
The Indians, who will be known as the Guardians next season, also turned down a $ 7 million option for catcher Roberto Perez and hired Chris Valaika as their hitting coach.
Valaika was an assistant hitting coach last season with the Chicago Cubs, working with rookies Patrick Wisdom and Frank Schwindel.
The team may be looking to sign Ramirez back with a long-term extension this winter.
“I’d really like to stay,” Ramirez said after Cleveland went 80-82 in the club’s first losing season since 2012. “But there’s no rush. I’d really like to stay here for the rest of my career. But we have to. Wait to see what happens. I’d love to see what they have to offer. “
Pérez, 32, was again held back by injuries this year. He hit .149 in 44 games in his eighth season with Cleveland.
Ramirez and Perez were the only position players left on Cleveland’s 2016 pennant-winning team, which lost the World Series in seven games.