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Francisco Lindor Trade Rumors: Dodgers Could Move Gavin Lux, Dustin May in Deal

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2019

Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor fields a ground ball during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland "continue to be engaged in serious trade talks" regarding All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Per that report, Cleveland is "seeking a package of Dodgers prospects including Gavin Lux and Dustin May."

MLB Network @MLBNetwork

Could Francisco Lindor be heading to Hollywood? The #Dodgers are reportedly discussing a deal to acquire the four-time All-Star shortstop. #MLBTonight | #WinterMeetings https://t.co/mPZrFJafwr

There is an inevitability to Lindor eventually getting traded. The question is when?

On Dec. 3, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported that "Lindor, multiple executives said, 'is going to get traded.' They're not sure if it's this winter or next summer, but considering how disciplined [Cleveland is], they want to maximize Lindor's value, and doing so means trading him before the July 31 deadline."

On Dec. 9, the MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported that Lindor likely wouldn't be on the move this offseason:

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

Hear Indians prefer not to deal Francisco Lindor, to wait a year on a trade. Which really isn’t surprising. Interest has to be huge, however.

But the next day, MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi added that teams were inquiring nonetheless:

"The New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies have spoken with [Cleveland] about Lindor, sources confirmed, but they haven't offered the high-level prospect package required to complete a deal. The Dodgers possess the sort of player [Cleveland wants] for Lindor—star second-base prospect Gavin Lux—but there's no indication the Dodgers are prepared to offer him in the trade."

Wednesday's report from Nightengale might be an indication that Los Angeles is mulling a change of tune. Anything less than a major haul shouldn't move the needle for Cleveland, however.

Tom Withers @twithersAP

With Lindor clock ticking, it's going to get harder and harder for #Indians to turn down enticing deals for the All-Star. If I had to guess, they'll start next season with him at shortstop.

Maximizing Lindor's value means trading him before next season. Trading him either now or before the July 31 deadline this season means teams will get more than a rental season with Lindor, maximizing their title window. That also means Lindor's value in the trade market will diminish if he isn't dealt this season (assuming Cleveland has no interest in simply signing him to a long-term extension at some point). 

As for the potential players that would go back to Cleveland in a deal with the Dodgers, Lux is considering the No. 2 prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com. Right-handed pitcher May, meanwhile, is No. 32 overall. Pairing them together in a deal would be a sizeable return for Cleveland. 

Whether either side is willing to pull the trigger remains to be seen, and will be one of the fascinating stories to follow at the Winter Meetings.