After three consecutive 30-plus home run seasons from 2017-2019, Francisco Lindor his .258 with eight home runs and 27 RBI last season. Those numbers project to a significantly less 22 home runs and 73 RBI over a full season. Lindor enters the final year of his contract in 2021 and there is speculation he will not be in an Indians uniform come opening day.
Bob Nightengale from USA Today says the Indians plan to trade Francisco Lindor and several rival teams have been informed as such. He is scheduled to earn about $21 million in salary arbitration next year before eligible for free agency. Nightengale’s report coincides with that of Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com, although Morosi notes that a trade is not likely to happen rapidly.
The logic behind this is simple. The Indians want as many teams interested as possible, to get the best possible deal for their All-Star shortstop. If Francisco Lindor hits free agency, he will join an elite class of shortstops entering the market at the same time, including Trevor Story, Corey Seager, and Javier Baez.
The question is, out of the top trade candidates this off-season, where does Lindor stand? Among those that should garner the most interest are Kris Bryant of the Cubs, Nolan Arenado of the Rockies, Carlos Correa of the Astors, Lindor and a few others.
Lindor appears to be the most likely to actually be traded. After all, the Indians listed to inquiries for Lindor last off-season. With revenue drastically down due to COVID-19, the Indians are among the teams likely to be cutting cost. They’ve already declined options on Carlos Santana, Domingo Santana, and Brad Hand.
It’s looking more and more likely that Francisco Lindor has seen his final days as a member of the Indians. Now it’s a matter or when he will be dealt and what kind of return the Indians can get for the All-Star shortstop.