Now we are getting closer to a realistic trade partner from the NL Central. For years, the Brewers and Indians have made natural trade partners. On the one hand the Indians have a pitching surplus, and the Brewers have a power surplus. In this scenario, these two trade partners trade strictly offensive players.
For the Cleveland Indians, unloading Lindor is the priority, and in return you get starting infielder Orlando Arcia, who is familiar with the AL Central from his time with the Twins. You’d also acquire two prospects in the top 10 of the Brewers farm, both outfielders, and both players who project to offer some big league power.
Arcia brings an OPS of .734 which in actuality, would have made him the fourth highest OPS on Cleveland’s lineup, just behind Lindor’s .750 OPS. Corey Ray has the power that is waiting to figure things out to be a factor on the MLB level. Finding somebody with a high ceiling that may need a change of scenery is a good add for the Indians’ upper levels.
The prize for the Indians would be adding Tristen Lutz. A young controllable asset, who’s bat is moving him up the minor league system quickly. Lutz would enter the Indians system and find himself competing for MLB at-bats in a couple short seasons. If he can cut down on his 308 strikeouts in just 3 minor league seasons, he may move up even faster.
It’s not a trade that sends the message the Indians plan to ‘win now’, but none are when moving Lindor. So the Indians have added controllable players at a position of need, and reinforce their depth across multiple levels.
For the Brewers they could be interested in foregoing future talent for a one-year run with Lindor. A lineup that could be Lindor, Lorenzo Cain, and then former triple crown winner Christian Yelich is very intriguing. Yes, the Brewers still need pitching, but they’ve only shown intentions to out hit their opponents, and Lindor upgrades their offense and defense for a one-year run at a pennant.
The Milwaukee Brewers are very similar to the Cleveland Indians in how they manage their roster. While its not completely a stretch to see them trade for Lindor, its still unlikely. Lets climb the NL Central again and find a more likely suitor.