What Does the Manny Machado Signing mean for the Indians and Francisco Lindor?

The Baseball world was shaken today as the San Diego Padres reached a deal with highly coveted free agent Manny Machado. The Padres gave Machado a 10-year $300 million deal, the biggest ever for a free agent in professional sports. Many in Cleveland have been wondering what it might cost to retain Indians superstar Francisco Lindor, and with the Machado signing, we now have a much better idea.

Lindor has consistently been one of the best shortstops in baseball since coming up to the league in 2015. Also in that team, Lindor has become a major fan favorite, seen to many as the “face” of the franchise and with that smile, who can disagree? However, Lindor’s major success leaves many worried he could fall into the same fate as other Tribe favorites such as C.C. Sabathia, Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome. The homegrown guys that the Indians were unable to keep around for the long haul and unfortunately it looks like Lindor is headed down a very similar path as those before him.

Before the 2017 season, Lindor reportedly declined a $100 million contract extension nearly five years before he’d even hit free agency. Lindor knows his worth and wants to the most money possible, and after this Machado deal, Lindor should also be looking to get $300 million, if not even more.

And who can blame him?

Lindor is a 3x All-Star, Gold Glove and Platinum Glove winner and a 2x Silver Slugger and has only made $4.9 million in his career; he’s already more than proved he’s worthy of his huge payday.

Now the question begs itself, what do the Indians do with Lindor moving forward? This year, Lindor entered his first year of arbitration and reached a deal with the Indians to make $10.5 million this year, an absolute steal for the Indians. After that, the Indians do still control his rights through 2021, with two more years of arbitration after this season.

So this basically leaves the Indians with two options; go all in the next three seasons and try to win a title before Lindor leaves or trade Lindor. The most sense would be to see how this season goes before trading him. See how close or far you are to a title and make your decision and him still having two years left of control would help to sweeten the package any team would offer.

Unfortunately, with the incredibly quiet offseason, the Indians have had thus far it would appear they don’t intend to go all in and try and win a title before Lindor hit free agency, leaving them with only one option: trading him. As hard as it is to say, it’ll be the best thing to do for the Indians moving forward. With Lindor now probably in the $300 million range, the Indians have no chance of re-signing him and need to make sure they don’t just let him walk for nothing. After this season trade-off Lindor to the highest bidder and begin another inevitable rebuild.

Lindor’s time in Cleveland has been amazing and one that all Cleveland fans will remember, but unfortunately it’ll more than likely end like so many Indians superstars before him has…with them leaving.

Follow the author: @DanLukas12

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