Reading the tea leaves at shortstop
No matter what the Indians do over the next two years, there is no story line that will garner more attention than Francisco Lindor‘s future. The only ways Lindor will lose his mantle as the most pressing question facing the Indians are if he signs an extension (unlikely) or is traded (regrettably likely).
When and if that trade comes to pass, one factor that might make it an easier pill for the front office to swallow is that the Indians have a plethora of talent in their minor league system at Lindor’s position.
Tyler Freeman is the most prominent of these young players, and presumably the most likely of Cleveland’s in-house options to replace Lindor. If the Indians choose to ride it out with Lindor and lose him via free agency after the 2021 season, Freeman is a safe bet to be the Tribe’s Opening Day shortstop in 2022.
But as Callis notes, the Indians have eight shortstops among their top 30 prospects, by far their most at any position other than pitcher. Regardless of what ultimately happens with Lindor, the Indians can at least turn to a deep pool of potential successors, starting with Freeman, if and when the face of the franchise leaves.