The Cleveland Indians have to make several upgrades to the roster this offseason while also figuring out one star’s contract situation.
There is nothing quite like being a Cleveland Indians fan and being forced to watch an ALCS featuring the Houston Astros and New York Yankees.
Turn off the television, you say? But, but, it’s still baseball. It will have to do.
If you want an even worse thought, consider the fact Francisco Lindor could be heading to such a market in a few years.
Lindor is only under team control through the 2021 season and while that is still two full seasons away, the team is not going to let him finish the 2021 season in Cleveland without a new contract. He is either staying or being traded for a haul or players.
MLB.com’s Will Leitch recently wrote a piece on the biggest priority for every MLB team this offseason. The one he chose for the Indians was figuring out the situation with Lindor.
From the article:
"Lindor is under team control for two more season, but the closer he gets to free agency, the less likely it is he gets a long-term extension in Cleveland. If there is not a resolution soon, the trade talk will commence eventually, as it has with Betts."
The crazy thing is that if you are looking at player value, trading Lindor before the start of the 2020 season would bring a crazy return back to Cleveland. I do not want the team to do such a thing but I am sure the conversation has come up several times. And it will again at the Winter Meetings. And again before the start of the season.
One option is to offer Lindor a three or four-year deal for around $25-30 million annually. Doing that now would eat up his final two years of arbitration and get him his market value. Whether he accepts such a deal or not depends on whether he truly wants to play in Cleveland or if getting that mega-deal is most important. If he opts for the latter it is hard to blame him.
Something just needs to be figured out. Lindor should earn a nice salary for 2020 but letting him play it out just makes the trade rumors heat up next offseason. Every game he plays in Cleveland lowers his trade value if the Indians have no intentions of offering him the deal he wants.
The business of baseball is not always fun, especially for Indians fans. Yet it is the way of the world and the Indians need to figure out what to do with Lindor soon.