CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from Feb. 2, 2021.
Asked about a social media rumor that his team was looking to trade Jose Ramirez this offseason, Cleveland Indians team president Chris Antonetti defaulted to an all-too-familiar stock answer.
"I have every expectation that Jose will be our starting shortstop on Opening Day," Antonetti said.
"Shortstop?" one reporter followed up, noting that Ramirez plays third base.
"I misspoke! Sorry, third baseman," Antonetti said with a laugh. "I'm used to saying the last one."
It would be tough to blame Antonetti for the mixup, considering that he had spent years providing the same stock answer amid speculation regarding Francisco Lindor's future with the team. Of course, this offseason, that answer has changed, after Cleveland traded Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco in a blockbuster deal with the New York Mets last month.
"That changed. That was not my answer about [Lindor] when you asked me about him this winter," Antonetti said.
All that's to say that while circumstances can change -- especially amid the financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic -- it doesn't appear the Indians are actively shopping Ramirez the same way they were Lindor before trading him this offseason. A three-time American League MVP finalist, Ramirez still has three years of team control remaining on his contract entering 2021, including club options for the 2022 and 2023 season.
As for the 28-year-old's future in Cleveland beyond that, that appears to be a conversation for another day -- or at least until Antonetti's stock answer changes.