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MLB Rumors: Trade Buzz on Francisco Lindor, David Price, Yu Darvish and Dodgers

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2019

Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor warms up before the start of 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

After several high-profile free agents found new homes during the 2019 MLB winter meetings, the baseball world will turn its attention to the trade market, as a number of stars appear to be available.

Whether teams are looking to shed salary or trade players rather than lose them for nothing more than draft picks in the future, there is no shortage of star power on the trade market. Meanwhile, the clubs that missed out on the top free agents—like the Los Angeles Dodgers—are expected to explore all of their options.

Below is a look at the latest buzz.

               

Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians

As one of the top players in baseball, Francisco Lindor is the face of the Cleveland Indians. However, with just two years of club control remaining, the Tribe may look to deal Lindor, as it appears unlikely to pay market value on a long-term extension.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Dodgers want Lindor "badly" after failing to land pitcher Gerrit Cole and third baseman Anthony Rendon in free agency. Per Nightengale, L.A. is expected to offer Cleveland a package of top prospects, including pitcher Dustin May and infielder Gavin Lux.

The Dodgers have represented the National League in the World Series in two of the past three seasons, though they have come up short in their quest of a first championship since 1988. Adding Lindor would figure to enhance their chances heading into 2020.

Lindor is coming off a season in which he hit .284/.335/.518 with 32 home runs, 40 doubles and 74 RBI for Cleveland. 

Los Angeles does not have a glaring need at shortstop, with two-time All-Star Corey Seager—who is under contract through 2021—already on the roster. However, a team can never have too much talent, especially with the deep pockets the Dodgers have.

                  

David Price, LHP, Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox likely had little problem with David Price opting into the final four seasons of his contract last year after helping the team to win the World Series in 2018. But following a disappointing 2019 that resulted in missing the playoffs, the club may be looking to move the southpaw as it looks to cut payroll.

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

The Boston Red Sox continue to pursue ways to shed salary, and multiple teams have targeted starter David Price, sources tell ESPN. He is owed $96 million over the next three years. Red Sox could either attach player with value or potentially pay down some of Price's remaining $.

According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Red Sox have had trade discussions with "at least" five teams regarding Price. Feinsand reported the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Angels, San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals have all been engaged in talks with Boston.

Price does not have a no-trade clause.

Coming off his most successful year in Beantown, Price went 7-5 with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.314 WHIP in 2019. He was limited to just 22 starts and 107.1 innings last term and made just two appearances over the final two months because of a wrist injury.

The 34-year-old has three years and $96 million remaining on his deal.

Feinsand noted Boston is attempting to shed enough salary to get below the $208 million competitive balance tax threshold, though it's not an "absolute mandate" by ownership. The Red Sox's CBT payroll reportedly sits around $225 million.

                 

Yu Darvish, RHP, Chicago Cubs

With Cole and Stephen Strasburg off the market, Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu headline the remaining group of free-agent pitchers.

Chicago Cubs star Yu Darvish offers teams an alternative.

After signing a six-year, $126 million contract with Chicago following the 2017 season, Darvish made just eight starts in his first year in the Windy City. He struggled out of the gates in 2019 but appeared to finally settle in to close out the season.

The right-hander won just two games while posting a 5.01 ERA in 18 first-half starts this year. Following the All-Star break, though, he posted a 2.76 ERA and a 0.808 WHIP in 13 outings.

Overall, Darvish went 6-8 with a 3.98 ERA in 31 starts this past season, striking out 229 batters in 178.2 innings. He struck out 11.5 hitters per nine innings, the third-highest rate of his career.

At this time last year, Darvish's contract appeared to be nearly impossible to move. But with a strong finish to the 2019 season, the four years and $81 million remaining on his deal don't look as bad—especially for teams that may not want to meet Bumgarner's or Ryu's ask in free agency.