Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor met with reporters in Goodyear, Arizona on Monday morning and when brought up about signing a long term deal with the club, he said this
Lindor entered his first year of arbitration this season and things went smoothly as the two sides agreed on a one year deal worth $10.55 million for the 2019 season.
Next offseason things will likely start to get complicated between Lindor’s representatives as it will be his second arbitration phase and the salary should inflate if you look at other players around baseball.
Free agent Manny Machado is looking for a deal similar to Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton’s 13 year, $325 million dollar contract.
It doesn’t look like he’ll get close to that but rumors are out that the San Diego Padres have offered an eight year deal between $240-280 million ($30-35 million per season).
Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado avoided arbitration after the 2016 with a two-year extension worth $29.5 million.
During this past offseason, Arenado asked for $30 million and the Rockies offered $24 million. The two sides settled at $26 million with Arenado scheduled to become a free agent following this season.
The Indians tried to sign Lindor long term following the 2016 season with a multi-year contract worth $100 million but Lindor rejected the offer according to reports.
I think it’s clear at this point that Lindor knows his talent and production is going to make things difficult for the Indians to keep him past the 2021 season when he becomes a free agent.
Lindor has earned three All-Star appearances, two Silver Sluggers, a Golden Glove and three top 10 finishes in his three full major league seasons, staying on pace with the success Machado and Arenado have achieved.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the talented shortstop won’t remain in Cleveland long term and it’s why i wouldn’t be surprised if 2019 was Lindor’s last full-time season with the Indians.
As arbitration talks will start to become more difficult, the organization may look to trade him at some point while his value may be at it’s strongest instead of waiting until the last moment much like Baltimore did with Machado last summer when they traded him to Los Angeles for a package of prospects that didn’t seem promising to many around baseball.
The fans will no doubt be frustrated much like they were when the team dealt CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez during the late 2000s.
However, when the superstars don’t fit a mid-market’s budget towards player salaries, these decisions become more difficult which is why baseball should make it easier for the mid-market teams like Cleveland to be able to keep their superstars.