Indians star shortstop Francisco Lindor is about to be a hot commodity this offseason. That’s right, several teams have been told that the Indians “intend to trade” Lindor, so some of them are expected to make a play for him. Honestly, who wouldn’t want a four-time All-Star and one of the best players in the game? He also has a nice smile, which doesn’t hurt.
Cleveland reportedly intends to trade Francisco Lindor before the 2021 season. 👀 pic.twitter.com/MlcSdnhouV— theScore (@theScore) November 5, 2020
Trading Lindor makes a ton of sense for the Indians. He’s expected to land a contract somewhere in the ballpark of $300-400 million, which is out of the their price range. Of course, most Major League Baseball teams can afford just about anything, but that’s a conversation for another day.
So who lands Lindor? It all depends on who is the most motivated. New Mets owner Steve Cohen would likely get in the good graces of his fan base if he corralled a superstar shortstop in his first offseason with the team. The Cincinnati Reds have also expressed interest in Francisco Lindor.
All teams are going to take a look because there are only two or three other shortstops you would rather have on your squad.
So where to?
Lindor’s style should put fans in the stands, no matter where he ends up. That’s a key motivation for potential Lindor buyers. Small market organizations love singular assets that can cause a stir for their fanbase, regardless of who plays alongside them. Major markets can afford his enormous contract by absorbing him instead of trading him like the Indians are doing now.
The Mets, Reds and Phillies are great landing spots for Lindor. Defensively and offensively, Lindor serves as an upgrade for each of these teams.
Philadelphia has a hole at shortstop, as Didi Gregorius is now a free agent. With Gregorius leaving, Philly also loses a left-handed bat. They can make up for it by swinging a trade for a switch-hitting shortstop who averages over 30 homers/year.
We have no real way of knowing who pulls off this blockbuster, but we do know the price is dropping. With COVID creating massive revenue losses, the Indians have even less opportunity to play hard ball on a trade. If they fail to move Lindor by this year’s deadline, interested teams will likely make a bid for him.
Lindor should be moved before Opening Day. Whoever manages to get their hands on this kid are getting a generational star, which is rare these days. Keep your eyes peeled.