The Winter Meetings are just around the corner and although they will look a bit different this year the Cleveland Indians still can make moves.
The Major League Baseball Winter Meetings will be done a bit differently in 2020, but the Cleveland Indians will still have an opportunity to talk trade. Scheduled for Dec. 7-10, the Winter Meetings will be done the same way majority of meetings were done during 2020, through teleconferences and Zoom.
Despite the new and odd circumstances, action is still expected to unfold over the Meetings and one of the major teams to watch is none other than the Cleveland Indians. The club is expected to move All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor at some point during this offseason. While we’ve speculated all the trades, the timing is of course unknown. Even so, the Winter Meetings could serve as a starting point for those conversations, if not the end result.
While Lindor is the main name to watch, the Indians could look to pull off other moves as well. We’ve already seen the team move Adam Cimber and could very easily make additional moves during the Winter Meetings.
Given the state of the Cleveland Indians, it can be assumed that all options are on the table and talks with all 29 teams are a possibility. However, these three teams should be a priority to talk to at the Meetings.
1. New York Mets
The New York Mets are under new ownership and there is a clear drive to get better, and get better fast. What better way to do that then to trade for the hottest available name in baseball? Given the outlook on the Mets’ organization, they might be willing to give up the most for Lindor and should be one of the teams on the Indians’ list for trade talks.
The one issue with the Mets is that they don’t have as much to offer the Indians as some other teams. While they might be willing to spend more, they don’t necessarily have the assets to do so. However, Lindor might not be the only name on the market from the Indians’ roster. If the two sides can’t agree on a deal at the Winter Meetings for Francisco Lindor, then maybe a smaller trade could be in the works.
2. Miami Marlins
Sticking in the NL East, the Miami Marlins could also be a team interested in Francisco Lindor. After making a smaller deal already this offseason for Cimber, the two sides have already been in talks. With a new General Manager, the Marlins could be interested in a big move as well.
Miami surprised a lot of people this past season with their success and could be looking for the next step. They have plenty of prospects to offer that could immediately contribute at the major league level.
The barrier between the Marlins and a deal for Francisco Lindor could be his upcoming contract. If they are willing to pay him long-term, then obviously the odds a deal go up. However, if they view him as a one-year rental, then that deal becomes much harder to reach.
3. Los Angeles Angels
The Angels could be a dark horse team to make a push for Francisco Lindor this offseason. Albert Pujols’ contract is almost up, which would free up $30 million a year that they could put in Lindor’s pocket instead. The thought of a Mike Trout, Francisco Lindor combo is a scary one.
For the Angels, they have the players to offer Cleveland, but it could come down to what they are willing to give up. Snagging a player like Lindor could put them right in the middle of contention, but what prospects can be spared from what they need to get over the hump?
Should the Angels decide that they are willing to pay the price, Lindor is the perfect player to take away some of the draw that the Dodgers have created in LA. Last year the Dodgers traded for Betts and won a World Series. Maybe the Angels try to replicate that type of mindset.
The next week or so could be an interesting one for fans of the Cleveland Indians. The Winter Meetings don’t always produce the blockbuster trades we expect and Zoom will lessen those odds further, but if anything the ball could start to roll for something to happen. Everyone in baseball knows that Lindor is not only available, but the best player available. That could turn to the Zoom calls coming in hot for the Indians throughout the Winter Meetings.