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How do Cleveland’s top current athletes stack up among the best?

No. 4 on our list is a 3-time Silver Slugger
Tony's Top 5
Tony's Top 5(woio)
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 12:20 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - No. 4 ... Jose Ramirez

Has $26 million ever seemed so cheap?

That’s what the Tribe doled out to Jose four years ago, an extension that pays him about $6.5 mil a year, and keeps one of the game’s best hitters in this cash-strapped team’s uniform for two more years after this one.

It is the best bargain in baseball ... by far.

If 2016, the World Series season, was his coming-out party, well, 2017 provided the proof that Jose is one of the best hitters in baseball.

And since 2018, Ramirez is up there statistically with players like Mike Trout ... and Mookie Betts ... and Alex Bregman ... to name a few.

By the way, I mentioned Jose’s $26 million? Trout makes $426 million. Just a bit more.

But Ramirez’ greatest value may go far beyond numbers. His greatest value may be the ability to steady a sinking ship.

We saw that last season when the Tribe was stumbling in August, dropping eight straight, before Jose went on a seven-game tear in September, homering six times during that span to keep the playoff hopes alive. And of course on September 22, his walk-off in the 10th clinched the spot.

And now, here he is, in 2021, helping to steady the ship again. The ship, of course, being the franchise that has bottomed out in terms of payroll.

Francisco Lindor, who received far more hype than Ramirez over the years while putting up lesser numbers, is gone. But Jose remains ... for now ... and he’s easily one of the top reasons to go to the ballpark.

We all knew how good he was about five years ago.

It just took everybody else outside of Cleveland some time to catch up.

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