This offseason may be the last chance the Cleveland Indians have to extend Francisco Lindor. If they don’t, it’s time to start thinking about a trade.
The Cleveland Indians have got plenty of problems entering the 2019 season. The organization is primed to be one of the most exciting clubs to watch on the hot stove market as the franchise tries to get over the hump of being eliminated in the ALDS the past two seasons.
The All-Star shortstop isn’t going anywhere, but the Indians are about to enter a critical offseason when it comes to Lindor.
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He poised to cash in during this first-year of arbitration, and the Indians, undoubtedly would love to sign him to an extension. The organization tried to do so before the start of the 2017 campaign, offering Lindor a reported $100 million, which was turned down.
If the Indians can’t buy out the first year or two of Lindor’s free-agent years, the organization has to seriously ponder when the time to trade this one-in-a-generation talent should be.
Lindor is under club control through 2021, that’s three more years he’s guaranteed to be an Indians. But the closer you get to free agency, the price goes down.
Look no further than the report reveling the trade the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals had in place this summer for Bryce Harper. With Harper set to hit free agency, the crown jewel of the deal would’ve been Houston’s No. 8 prospect, J.B. Bukauskas.
When you deal a superstar who’s just hit his prime, you want No. 1 talent in return. Washington would’ve received other prospects as part of a package, but because Harper was going to test free agency, the No. 8 prospect was as good as Washington was going to do.
Unless your the Yankees, Red Sox or Dodgers, most clubs can’t afford to mortgage the future of the franchise for a superstar player that’s just going to be around one season.
Generally, you want a player for two years.
Indians fans need to come to terms with the fact that if Lindor doesn’t sign an extension this offseason, he’s probably not going to be here past 2021.
And if he does play out his current contract with the Indians, it’ll mean the organization lost out on a key chance to replenish their organization with top-shelf talent.
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