It has been made clear that Francisco Lindor will not be re-signing with the Cleveland Indians. Now in his final year in Cleveland, could the Mariners swing a trade for the superstar shortstop?
Francisco Lindor enters this offseason with his final year of arbitration waiting for him. It will also be his last year in Cleveland as a member of the Indians as it has been made clear that he will not be signing an extension.
Talks broke down between both sides on an extension last year and Indians owner Paul Dolan has made some strong statements about Lindor’s future in Cleveland. Dolan has said things like “enjoy him” while he is still in Cleveland and has said there is no way they give out a $300 million contract.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today added a report from his sources with the Indians that confirmed the beliefs that Lindor not only will not be in Cleveland long term, but he will also be traded before the start of this season.
So, this leaves 29 other teams wondering what they can do to acquire the superstar. Lindor is a generational talent. Only 26 years old, Lindor has an .833 OPS over his entire 6-year career in the majors. He finished second in rookie of the year voting in 2015, and then went on a stretch of 4 All-Star Games, 3 top 10 MVP finishes, 2 Gold Gloves, and 2 Silver Sluggers.
He has a remarkable 28.4 career WAR, never falling below 3.5 in offensive WAR, and 1.0 in defensive WAR for a full season. Even though Lindor had his worst offensive season with a .750 OPS in 2020 (Which was still above average at 102 OPS+), his trade value will still be for a generational talent.
So if the Mariners wanted to get in the market for Lindor to burst out of the rebuild, what would a trade for him look like? I have three ideas based on how the Indians might approach the next few years without their franchise superstar.