The road to keeping Francisco Lindor until free agency

Indians' path to keeping the star shortstop may not be too crazy

Jonathan Peterlin
July 02, 2020 - 12:10 pm

Cleveland (92.3 The Fan) - Is it so crazy to think the Indians can keep Francisco Lindor until free agency? 

The prevailing thought that Francisco Lindor gets traded this next offseason is a strong one, but what if there was another way? The Indians keeping Lindor all the way to free agency has never had more of a shot than it does right now. 

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Go back to the last garage sale you went to. Picture Chris Antonetti with a crystal he has priced at $7.00. He has drawn his line in the sand and he doesn’t want anything short of $7.00. Turns out that crystal is actually worth $3.00 with depreciating value. Does he still sell it if offered $2.50? My bet here is no. 

On the other side, the heart of this discussion for other teams involved is a simple math problem. Two is greater than one. Any team will run into the problem that you don’t know if you’re paying for one postseason or for two. 

Frankie would still have a chance to take a potential new team to the World Series, but Team X is primed to get the all-star at a steal.  Buying new designer clothes at a flea market type of a deal. Also known as a nightmare for the savvy Antonetti who is typically fleecing other teams. 

I see an avenue where Antonetti will keep the best Indians shortstop since Omar given the vexing market isn’t offering what he likes. He has proven in the reported Dodgers discussions that he’s the guy that will go for a job interview, hear the salary and say “no thanks” and walk out. 

Even more so, who in this market is offering up big deals centered on what the Indians would want in return? Teams that are crying poor aren’t going to be as willing to give up their cheap, controllable assets. They’ll be hoarding those like hand sanitizer back in March. 

There aren’t time machines, and the Indians front office can’t be faulted for not predicting a global pandemic, but the deals won’t ever be as good for Frankie as they were this offseason and the club already showed that those weren’t good enough. 

To their credit, they never could’ve predicted they were playing three-card monte, set up to lose the moment baseball stopped. Now it’s going to cost them to the point they might just give up on the trade idea completely.

Maybe I woke up today with the glass half full in these precarious times. You might have to squint to see this silver lining, but I’m choosing to squint. 

It’s not the cataclysmic disaster it once was if the team takes a real shot at this year and next and doesn’t recoup anything for a generational talent. I wouldn’t even call it pushing all the chips in the middle. It’s just not taking pennies on the dollar. At some point going for it is the most sensible play. If the market is poor, let’s see what this team can do. 

Options are on the table, and I hear the people in charge like their crystals. 

On top of it all, the the farm systems that have room to breathe in giving up players are either cash strapped as it is or have already made their big move. 

  1. Rays – a team that has found a way to make the Indians look rich
  2. Padres – gave Manny Machado $300 million, they’re not doing that again 
  3. Dodgers – spent the farm on a deal for Mookie Betts 
  4. Marlins – they make the Rays look rich 
  5. Tigers – would actually be interesting if they weren’t in division 

Fair or unfair, trades are ruled a success by deep postseason runs. Andrew Miller for Justus Sheffield and Clint Frazier worked cause it took the Indians to the World Series, it could’ve been viewed horribly if they went out in the first round against the Red Sox.