The biggest topic surrounding the Indians’ offseason is the future of All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor.
The soon-to-be 26-year old has two years remaining on his contract and there’s no indiciations that the Indians and Lindor will be able to work out a long-term agreement.
The rumors have already begun to swirl that teams will be calling Cleveland about potentially trading for Lindor during the offseason and much like the Indians did last winter with players like Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer, they’ll take those calls but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll trade Lindor just yet.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are the two teams currently that have been linked to being interested in acquiring Lindor and they have also have the luxury of being able to re-sign him to that long-term contract in the Bryce Harper ($330 million) and Mike Trout ($426 million) range of salary that Cleveland just can’t give.
Cleveland doesn’t have to trade Lindor until the 2021 Trade Deadline but the longer they hold off on the decision, the less value the Indians will get in a return package.
The best example of a team waiting until the last moment to trade their All-Star player was in 2018 when the Baltimore Orioles sent Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers for five prospects including at the time just one Top 100 prospect in Yusniel Diaz.
Baltimore had a poor front office at the time and nobody is remaining in the Orioles front office. Cleveland has a great front office and know what lies ahead in this situation regarding Lindor’s future.
They also know that they have a talented major league roster that can still compete for the American League Central Division and with their deep pitching rotation as well as a talented offense including Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Carlos Santana and Framil Reyes can compete for an American League pennant.
It’s going to be an interesting couple of months because there’s going to be a lot of rumors out there about what teams have to offer for Lindor and whether or not the Indians should pull the trigger on a deal knowing the ramifications including potential backlash from the fans if they do trade Lindor.
I do think the Indians should strongly consider trading Lindor this offseason. It’s apparent that both sides know a long-term deal isn’t coming between the sides and despite the Indians’ window to compete is still open, it could very well be extended by trading Lindor for a massive return that’ll extend the window.
Now when it comes to who they should deal Lindor to, it definitley shouldn’t be to the New York Yankees and I’ve already been told by someone that the Indians would never help the Yankees win a World Series championship so you can eliminate them from the Lindor sweepstakes.
The Dodgers are a very intriguing team in this because they have a very deep farm system with some major league ready talent that can help the Indians right away.
A potential deal would have to include their top prospect Gavin Lux who can immediatley fill the void at shortstop or second base which is also available with Jason Kipnis likely departing in free agency. Los Angeles would also need to give up either Dustin May or Josiah Gray who are their top pitching prospects as well as Keibert Ruiz, their third ranked prospect and who the Indians can groom as their long-term answer behind Roberto Perez who turns 31 next month.
Let me know what you all think about what the Indians should do regarding Lindor’s future in the comments below. Thanks for reading!