The Cleveland Guardians are reportedly signing second baseman Andres Gimenez to a seven-year contract extension that will pay him a total of $106.5 million over the life of the deal, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. 

Gimenez, 24, not only had a breakout season for the Guardians in 2022, but was one of the league’s most surprising stars, hitting .297 with an .837 OPS while also winning the American League Gold Glove at second base. His 7.4 Wins Above Replacement placed him third in the league behind only the top two AL MVP vote-getters, Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani. 

The new pact will begin in 2024 and buy out all of his arbitration years and the first four years of his free agency eligibility. 

It is a huge move for the Guardians to lock in one of their young stars, after having done so with another core player back in April when they signed star third basemen Jose Ramirez to a five-year, $124 million contract. 

The Guardians won the American League Central Division last year with 92 wins, advancing to the divisional round of the playoffs where they lost in five games to the New York Yankees. 

Cleveland added to the division-winning roster this offseason by signing powerful switch-hitter Josh Bell to a two-year, $33 million deal. 

The Guardians are not typically a big-spending team—even when they are successful—and are set to enter the 2023 season with the 25th largest payroll in the league. That can make staying consistently competitive difficult. But it is an encouraging sign for their fans to see them lock in two emerging stars (Ramirez and Gimenez) to long-term deals while also making a significant outside signing in Bell. 

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