The Cleveland Indians have made no formal announcement on Francisco Lindor‘s future, but the fact that he’ll be at Tribe Fest is a good sign.
Cleveland Indians fans have been waiting all winter for a development that qualifies as positive without having to look on the bright side.
“We’re not spending money in free agency and we traded our franchise’s best pitcher since the Eisenhower administration, but hey, at least the sun came up this morning!”
The unabated good news that has eluded the Cleveland faithful for the last few months may have arrived Tuesday. Francisco Lindor will be at Tribe Fest in February.
Tag a friend who you want to go with you to see Francisco Lindor at Tribe Fest on February 1st! 😁 pic.twitter.com/nl9h2VAOfP
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) January 7, 2020
At the risk of counting chickens before they’ve hatched, it seems reasonable to presume Lindor is decidedly not getting traded this winter. Let’s start with the timeline involved, along with the public relations catastrophe that would ensue if he were moved after this rather formal announcement that he will be present at the club’s biggest fan interaction event of the calendar year.
It would stand to reason that ticket sales for Tribe Fest will skyrocket in the coming days, as fans finally have some concrete indication that the city’s most beloved athlete will be in attendance. Imagine the backlash if Lindor is forced to take a rain check because he’s traded to another team between now and then.
Moreover, what kind of cruel sadists would have to be pulling the strings if Lindor were traded after Tribe Fest? “We wanted to give Francisco a chance to bid farewell to the city and thank the fans. Now your 11-year-old son can smile at that picture they took together at Tribe Fest every time he tunes into SportsCenter and sees his favorite player hitting a home run for the Dodgers!”
What the Lindor announcement tells us is that Cleveland’s pre-Christmas deadline for “final offers” from other teams did not yield the trade package the Indians wanted. Gavin Lux was likely kept off the table in discussions with the Dodgers, and there aren’t many (if any) other teams in possession of the firepower to pull off such a deal.
As such, the Indians appear to have gone over all of their options, and have ultimately settled on the idea that they’re a better team with Lindor than they would be with any of the hauls they were looking at in return.
If in fact the Indians have closed the door on trading Lindor this offseason, the next step needs to be putting the best possible team around him to start the 2020 season. Cleveland is still in need of an impact player in the outfield, and another couple of bullpen arms wouldn’t hurt.