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Francisco Lindor Trade Rumors: Execs Believe Indians SS 'Is Going to Get Traded'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2019

Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor during a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor reportedly may not be a member of the Cleveland Indians for much longer.

According to ESPN.com's Jeff Passan, multiple executives have said privately that Lindor "is going to get traded." The only question is whether the trade will be made during the offseason or in season before the July 31 deadline.

The 26-year-old Lindor is under team control through 2021, but he is in line to land a massive contract extension that the Indians may be unable or unwilling to dole out.

Executives reportedly added that the Indians could change their stance if they keep Lindor during the offseason and enjoy a strong 2020 campaign but noted the organization is wary about diminishing the shortstop's trade value by holding him for too long.

Lindor is arguably the best all-around shortstop in baseball, as he has been named an All-Star in each of the four MLB seasons in which he has appeared in at least 100 games. He is also a two-time Silver Slugger winner, two-time Gold Glove winner and one-time Platinum Glove winner, which is given to the best defensive player in each league regardless of position.

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In each of the past three seasons, Lindor has hit at least 30 home runs and 40 doubles. He also had at least 15 stolen bases each year of that span and has never hit worse than .273 in a single season.

After setting career highs with 38 home runs and 92 RBI in 2018, Lindor missed the start of the 2019 season with a calf injury. Even so, he appeared in 143 games, batting .284 with 32 homers, 74 RBI and 22 steals.

Lindor has finished 15th or better in the American League MVP voting in each of the past four seasons, including three top-10 finishes. Based on his trajectory, it seems a matter of when rather than if he wins an MVP award.

One thing that could help Lindor in that regard is hitting further down in the batting order. He was almost exclusively a leadoff hitter for Cleveland last season, which adversely impacted his RBI numbers.

Trading Lindor would leave a massive hole in Cleveland's lineup, but with the Minnesota Twins taking over as the American League Central Division champions last season, it may soon be time for the Indians to consider retooling, and Lindor would net them the biggest return.