The Cleveland Indians may be facing questions on Francisco Lindor, but their answer comes down to a question they must ask themselves.
The first month of the 2019 MLB offseason is nearly over, and it’s fair to say we don’t know any more about the Cleveland Indians‘ plans today than we did at the end of September. As such, question marks continue to hang over the organization’s head.
The future of Francisco Lindor is regarded by many as the biggest question on the docket, and for good reason. Will they trade him, or won’t they? It’s a fair inquiry. Lindor is a game-changing franchise player who instantly alters the landscape of the league if he goes anywhere else.
But the road the Indians ultimately take regarding Lindor will be determined by the answer to a much bigger question: Do the top decision-makers in Cleveland still believe the core of this roster is capable of winning a World Series? And if they do, are they willing to push all their chips into the middle to see it through?
Maybe that qualifies as two questions, but the point remains. The Indians aren’t doing themselves any favors by trying to walk both sides of the line with Lindor. You either trade him because doing so helps set you up to win a championship at some point in the next decade, or you go all-in with him, because he and his current teammates can win it all in the next two years with a little bit of help.
We are a few hours from December 1, and we don’t definitively know how the Indians front office would answer if asked these questions. We’d like to think that a team with at least 90 wins in each of the last four seasons would believe it is good enough to win a championship.
We will know soon enough, for better or worse, and it is with reckless optimism that I predict the Indians will unleash a pleasant surprise or two on the baseball world in the next couple of weeks. I dare to believe Lindor is not only going to open 2020 with Progressive Field as his home, but that the Indians are going to commit to putting a championship-level supporting cast around him.
As we approach Christmastime, the Indians must decide for themselves whether they are set up to win a World Series now. Until they answer that question on their own, there aren’t many more to ask.