With the offseason still upon us, more trade rumors begin to heat up. One name that’s popped up on the radar is Indians’ shortstop Francisco Lindor.
The Indians are looking to trade their star shortstop with one year left on his contract. Here are five possible destinations as to where Lindor can land.
5. Toronto Blue Jays
As much as the Blue Jays would like to hold onto their young core, the Indians need an outfield bat. That would be Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Gurriel fits the bill for a young, inexpensive outfielder. In 57 games this season, Gurriel hit .308 while slugging 11 home runs and 33 runs batted in. He also fielded well, only committing two errors in the outfield. Also, his fielding percentage rose up to 99 percent while recording three outfield assists. Gurriel is definitely a player the Indians need. But that’s only one piece to the puzzle.
The Toronto Blue Jays narrowly made the playoffs this season, finishing off at 32-28. They finished third in the American League East behind the Yankees and Rays. The Blue Jays have a rising young core, but they need someone to take them over the top offensively. Francisco Lindor is the guy. That’s if they don’t sign D.J. LeMahieu.
4. Atlanta Braves
The Braves will definitely remain a contender for years to come as long as their trio of Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies stick around. But, they also need a veteran push to take them over the top and prevent them from being one-and-done every season.
Although, the Braves finished one win away from reaching the World Series. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres aren’t going away and will remain contenders for years to come. The New York Mets should now be on the Braves’ radar because of new ownership and more money. The Washington Nationals recently traded for star first baseman Josh Bell and will look to bounce back after a horrific World Series hangover. The Miami Marlins are rising in the ranks after sneaking into the playoffs for the first time since 2003.
Could the Braves move Dansby Swanson to acquire a star in Lindor? Dansby Swanson is a nice role player, but he’s not gonna take a team over the top like Francisco Lindor. The deal would obviously involve more than Dansby Swanson. But, would the Braves wanna give up Swanson and other pieces for a likely one-year rental? If Lindor gives the Braves a ring, the move will likely be less criticized, and the team will likely give him a hefty extension.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are coming off a World Series championship and will likely bring in more pieces to make them better. Francisco Lindor is the next piece that makes them better. But how much room money-wise do the Dodgers have? They just gave Mookie Betts a colossal extension, locking him up for years to come. I also believe the Dodgers wanna get younger.
Veteran third baseman Justin Turner is a free agent at the moment. Currently, his best suitors are the Dodgers and Blue Jays. Los Angeles would likely have to not re-sign Turner to trade for Lindor. That would allow Corey Seager to move to third base. But, both Seager and Francisco Lindor are free agents in 2021. Do the Dodgers wanna take the risk of trading for a rental? He would likely keep them at the top of the food chain. Plus, if Lindor takes LA over the top, can they afford to pay Lindor?
2. New York Yankees
The Yankees are currently operating on a budget due to losses from the pandemic. This is likely causing the cease in the effort to re-sign DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu wants $25 million per year over five years, but the Yankees just aren’t budging. It seems as though the crosstown rival Mets and Toronto Blue Jays are catching up in the sweepstakes. LeMahieu might be a likely goner. This would hurt the Yankees badly offensively and defensively. But, there is a younger option in mind.
The Yankees could trade for Francisco Lindor. New York has been tied to Lindor for the past two offseasons through trade rumors. They would likely have to give up some of their farm system. They can’t be holding onto prospects anymore. The Yankees are incomplete win-now mode, and they need someone to take them over the top and actually fortify them. Lindor is the guy. Another benefit that comes out of this is Gleyber Torres can move back to second base. Torres struggled immensely at shortstop defensively last season and might need a change of position. But, would the Yankees be willing to take on money for a one-year rental?
- New York Mets
Luckily, the Mets are the only team that hasn’t lost money through this pandemic. Steve Cohen is the main reason. He has brought more wealth to the team than the Wilpons and will be willing to spend. The Mets have already splashed on veteran catcher James McCann and are also looking to sign star outfielder George Springer.
The Mets will need some upgrades to remain a contender in the National League East and in the league in general. Francisco Lindor is that player. Amed Rosario is a mere average shortstop but hasn’t made the cut a great shortstop in the MLB. The Mets can include youngster Andres Gimenez in the deal as well. Both are young and talented shortstops in the league. Also, the Mets have other exciting pieces in the farm system that are worth taking a chance on
If the Mets acquire Francisco Lindor, they’ll become a scary team in the NL for years to come.