With the dilemma of Francisco Lindor possibly being a one-year rental, a lot of teams may not give up top prospects. However, teams will sacrifice some controllable MLB level players instead of using their farm.
For the Cardinals, adding Lindor would be a table setter in their lineup ahead of Paul Goldschmidt. They are a franchise known for winning, and could spend if they felt the fit with Lindor was working. Both items that would check Lindor’s boxes for a long-term landing spot. This alone makes the Cardinals willing to risk some of its future, on a trial with Lindor.
This move while maybe not jaw dropping makes a lot of sense for the Cleveland Indians, if they plan to simply re-shuffle while cutting costs. Paul DeJong is a solid shortstop and would be an instant starter. DeJong recently signed a six-year deal with St. Louis in 2018, and has team options thru 2025. DeJong is a positive WAR player every year since 2017, and while 2020 wasn’t his best, it’s easy to overlook given the challenges the Cardinals faced with COVID scheduling all season. He’d bring a winning pedigree, solid defense, and playoff experience that would fit in well with an Indians team still looking to contend every season.
Tyler O’Neill would joining the Indians outfield shuffle. It’s not a sure thing he’d start over the likes of the current Indians outfielders, but he adds to the competition. As a pre-arbitration player, O’Neill would have multiple seasons to find ways to contribute.
This doesn’t have to be a big splash to work. The Cleveland Indians need the Lindor trade to extend their competitive years, and adding two experienced players who can contribute immediately, including a starting shortstop, would check the box for a Francisco Lindor trade.