With the Los Angeles Dodgers advancing to the World Series, the Cleveland Indians could see a boost in the trade market for Francisco Lindor.
On Sunday night the Los Angeles Dodgers completed the comeback against the Atlanta Braves and advanced to the face the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, their third appearance in the last four years. However, the Dodgers shouldn’t the only team excited as the Cleveland Indians could see a boost in the trade market for Francisco Lindor from the Dodgers’ success.
While the Dodgers are back in the World Series, something they are familiar with after making in both 2017 and 2018 as well, this year has a different feel. Before the season started, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox agreed to a blockbuster deal that sent Mookie Betts to Los Angeles for a trio of prospects. The path to the World Series has been a team effort, but there’s no question that Betts has made a difference.
If the Dodgers can finally complete the process and win the World Series, the Betts trade will be more than worth it, if it isn’t already. Having signed Betts to a long-term deal, there will be plenty of time to fulfill the trade, but doing it in the first year would be ideal. If they do win the series, then the market for Lindor could increase for the Indians.
There’s no question that Lindor will be shopped this offseason leading up to, and most likely after, his arbitration case, much like Betts was last year. While trades can be hypothesized and hoped for, the return for Cleveland could see a major boost if Betts makes the difference for Los Angeles and gets them over the hump.
Now, Betts’ resume was a bit more impressive than Lindor’s, having been named the MVP of the American League in just 2018. Even still, the comparison can be made and given that the market is always inflating, the Cleveland Indians should be able to get a bigger haul than what the Boston Red Sox received a year ago.
Adding David Price into the trade with Betts, the Red Sox got in return three strong prospects in Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wong. Verdugo has already made an impact in the big leagues, playing in 53 of the Boston’s 60 games this year. He was able to slash .308/.367/.478 while drawing 17 walks and smacking 16 doubles and six home runs.
As for Downs, he is currently the Red Sox’s top ranked prospect and is expected to make his major league debut sometime during the 2021 season. Additionally, Wong is their No. 19 prospect and can play catcher, second and third. While he isn’t as hyped up as Downs, Wong is also expected to find his way to Boston in the coming year.
Should Downs and Wong both debut in 2021, that would mean that all three players received in the Betts deal made it to Boston within two seasons. That would be a dream scenario for the Cleveland Indians, but if the Dodgers win the World Series, the Indians could easily receive even more in return for Francisco Lindor.
The Indians are already expected to land at least a few Top 10 prospects in return for Lindor, but the price will continue to rise the more the Dodgers win and the more impact Betts has in the World Series. The Dodgers paid in both the trade and then in salary to secure Betts and if he ends up being the difference, then teams will be trying to replicate that move.
Lindor will be the closest player on the trade market to Betts this offseason and with a slim selection of playmakers like Lindor, the Indians should be able to get almost anything they want in return. The more the Dodgers win, the more teams will be looking to make the big leap like they did. While the Dodgers’ farm system is a bit depleted because of the trade to acquire Betts there are plenty of other teams that will be in talks.
The Cleveland Indians trading Francisco Lindor will be a storyline through the entire offseason, but the market will be set when the season ends, for the most part. If the Indians want to get the most out of Lindor, they need to hope Betts has a historical performance in the World Series over the next couple weeks.