Jose Ramirez is willing to open his pockets to keep Amed Rosario in Cleveland

Jose Ramirez wants Amed Rosario to stay with the Cleveland Guardians. Jokingly, he said he’d be willing to foot the bill for it to happen.

The Cleveland Guardians are the feel-good story of the 2022 MLB season. With a Moneyball-ish payroll of $80.67 million, they’re the obvious underdogs of the MLB postseason.

The Guardians were the most efficient with their payroll in terms of wins per dollar spent by far. They spent $876,000 per win, with the next-closest team (Tampa Bay Rays, $1.2 million per win) spending 41% more.

Cleveland Guardians payroll per win

Payroll cost per win for MLB teams in 2022

Jose Ramirez wants to keep Amed Rosario in Cleveland with his own money

Amed Rosario and the Guardians agreed to a 1-year deal worth $4.95 million before the season began to avoid arbitration, one of the several low-cost items on payroll to help them keep that per-win cost under $1M. He’s now eligible for arbitration after this season and could be a free agent after next year.

Jose Ramirez landed a major contract before this season (7 years, $141 million), but wouldn’t mind using some of that cash to keep Rosario in Cleveland. In a half-facetious manner, Ramirez told reporters he’d chip in $40 million:

Rosario logged 180 hits in 2022, the fifth-most in the MLB and third-most in the American League. He hit a league-leading nine triples, batted in 71 RBI, and slashed .283/.312/.403. While that slash line looks rather pedestrian, I really like how Jeff Mount of Call to the Pen put Rosario’s impact here:

But if analytics was all that mattered, the Cleveland Guardians would be in third place like everyone expected. If you spent much time watching the Guardians this season, you would find it hard to imagine them winning the AL Central without Rosario. He was seemingly in the middle of every rally, and he set a tone for the whole season by leading the AL in infield hits. Jose Ramirez, hitting behind Rosario, drove in 126 runs; that doesn’t happen unless you are hitting behind someone good. The fact that the Guardians finished 16th in MLB in runs scored despite getting historically low output from the eighth and ninth spots in the order must mean that the top of the order was doing something right.

Keeping Rosario around just might be the difference between a flukey feel-good postseason year and a real build toward a sustainable winning franchise in Cleveland.

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