Make a trade now
The winter would take a dark turn if the Indians traded Lindor. But right now it is logically the team’s best option if he won’t return beyond 2021.
Lindor’s value is sky-high right now and any team acquiring him would at least have him for two seasons. A team like the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have already been in some Lindor rumors, is desperate for a World Series title. A team in a market that size also has the funds to extend Lindor on a monster deal.
While the New York Yankees could easily pay Lindor, I’d be surprised if the Indians traded him within the American League. Though, the trade would depend on the return. If the Yankees had an offer that was too good to pass up then he would be in pinstripes.
This is the weird intersection between being a baseball fan and understanding the business of it all. Frankly, it stinks. The front office should have a great read on whether or not Lindor will accept the team’s top offer. That offer likely won’t change between now and the 2021 offseason.
If the value is there and he is already halfway out the door, trading him in the next few months could stock the talent pool in Cleveland with top prospects and guys ready right now. The only problem is the possibility of a fan revolt.