The Francisco Lindor Era in Cleveland is coming to an end. Following a disappointing conclusion to their season, the Cleveland Indians quietly began reaching out to various organizations and indicating that they were looking to move their star shortstop.
“Cleveland, strapped for money, intend to trade All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor by opening day, several rival teams have been informed. Lindor earned $17.5 million last season and is projected to earn about $21 million in salary arbitration in his final year before free agency,” Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported.
Because Lindor will be in line for a massive new deal once his current one is up, Cleveland faces the daunting prospect of spending a substantial amount of money to retain him. That doesn’t appear to be in the cards, so a trade is all but inevitable at this juncture.
At the moment, there are four legitimate suitors for Lindor’s services: the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees.
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The appeal of a possible Mets deal is clear. New owner Steve Cohen is eager to spend some money on big names to show he is for real, and the team has enough intriguing draft capital to pique Cleveland’s interest. Mets prospect Ronny Mauricio would figure to be part of any potential swap.
Similarly, the Dodgers have pieces that the Indians would be interested in – plus they’ve been connected to a possible Lindor deal since last year. Gavin Lux would seem like a player that would have to be involved to make anything happen, though.
The LA Angels desperately need to make some upgrades, and Lindor could be the sort of addition that really changes the organization’s current trajectory. Brandon Marsh would almost certainly need to be a part of any prospective trade, and the Indians would likely take a close look at Jo Adell.
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Finally, don’t sleep on the Yankees. Although they seem less likely to be involved in a potential Lindor trade, any time a player of this caliber is available, they always seem to enter the conversation.
Lindor, for what it’s worth, has heard the trade rumors. When Cleveland got swept by the Yankees in the Wild Card series, he addressed possibly moving on.
“It’s crossed my mind because a lot of you have mentioned it,” he said. “I haven’t sat back and though about it. On social media, that’s all they talk about it… I haven’t thought about it deeply enough to say, ‘This could be my last game.’”
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Lindor is coming off something of a down year by his standards. The 26-year-old hit .258 with eight home runs and 27 RBIs in 60 games this season. For his career, he is a .285 hitter.
At the end of the day, Lindor pledged to simply take things as they come.
“I would love to say spend money. But that’s (owner Paul) Dolan’s money,” he said. “I can’t control the future. I can’t control the [moves] the organization makes. What I can control is how happy I am and how hard I work.”
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.