Friday, February 3, 2023

Cleveland exercises 2022 club option on 3B José Ramírez; names Chris Valaika Major League hitting coach

CLEVELAND, OH – The Cleveland Indians today announced several club option decisions relative to the club’s 40-man roster and an addition to the Major League Coaching Staff:

Exercised the 2022 club option on 3B JOSÉ RAMÍREZ.

Declined the 2022 club option on C ROBERTO PÉREZ.

Named CHRIS VALAIKA Major League Hitting Coach.

Ramίrez, 29, batted .266 (147-for-552) with 32 doubles, 5 triples, 36 home runs, 103 RBI, 111 runs and 27 stolen bases in 2021, ranking fourth in the American League in steals, fifth in runs, sixth in OPS (.893) and tied for sixth in extra base hits (73). Ramίrez and Shohei Ohtani were the only two Major League players with at least 35 home runs, 100 RBI, 100 runs scored and 25 steals, making him just the ninth player in MLB history to record multiple seasons reaching those plateaus. He ranked sixth in all of MLB in fWAR (6.4, FanGraphs) and was tied for most defensive runs saved (10) among MLB third basemen.

Valaika (vuh-LAY-kah), 36, served as the Assistant Major League Hitting Coach with the Chicago Cubs in 2021, where he helped guide Cubs rookie hitters Patrick Wisdom (NL rookie-high 28 HR) and Frank Schwindel (.342 avg; 6th among NL rookies with 33 XBH). The Santa Clarita, CA native and UCSB Gaucho joined the coaching ranks in 2017 following his retirement from playing following the 2015 season.

Prior to joining the Cubs ML staff, he was the Cubs Minor League Hitting Coordinator for two seasons (2019-20) following Hitting Coach stints for the AZL Mesa Cubs (2017) and AAA Iowa Cubs (2018). He began his playing career in 2006 (3rd round pick, CIN) and appeared in 99 Major League games with the Reds, Cubs and Miami Marlins over four seasons, 2010-14. His brother, Pat, has appeared in 373 Major League games over the last six seasons with Colorado (2016-19) and Baltimore (2020-21).

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