With Mike Clevinger now gone and Francisco Lindor’s impending free agency creeping closer and closer, it’s clear Lindor will be in a different jersey by 2021.
It has always been a glaring question whether the Indians would be able to keep Lindor after 2021. But based on their current level of spending, the recent trend of trading away their top players before when they are about to get paid and how the Indians reportedly listened to trades centered around Lindor at the deadline…the question seems settled.
Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com: “Francisco Lindor’s name has been mentioned in some preliminary trade talks, per source. There’s no indication the Indians are planning to move him, but the possibility exists. Lindor has one more year of control before hitting free agency.”
The evidence is now staring Tribe fans in the face. Still, there was always a possibility that Paul Dolan would decide to spend to keep Lindor. But with the Clevinger deal done, it’s clear that is not the case.
Looking at the just-completed deal, the Indians acquired top Padres prospects Gabriel Arias (the Padres former No. 7 prospect) and Owen Miller (the Padres former No. 11 prospect), who both play shortstop. Though Miller can also play second base and both can retool into different infield positions, the Indians already have Nolan Jones, Tyler Freeman and Brayan Rocchio, who all are top infield prospects. Not including Carson Tucker, the Indians’ top pick from the 2020 MLB draft, who plays shortstop. Even if some of these end up playing different positions by the time they make the Major Leagues, it is clear the Indians are not trying to hide their quest to fill the shortstop position.
Though many years ago the Indians threw money at free-agents like Nick Swisher, Micheal Bourn, David Dellucci and Kerry Wood under Dolan’s ownership, it’s clear they are no longer willing to spend big money and incur financial losses in the quest for a World Series title.
Axelrod, B. (2019). Report: Indians have discussed trading Mike Clevinger in potential Francisco Lindor deal. Retrieved September 04, 2020, from https://www.wkyc.com/article/sports/mlb/indians/report-indians-have-discussed-mike-clevinger-in-potential-francisco-lindor-trade/95-c09c04d7-7224-4e4d-94c5-da88927a244b