Francisco Lindor Rumors: 'Hasn't Been a Negotiation' About New Indians Contract

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2020

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - MARCH 03: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians gets ready to step into the batters box against the Los Angeles Angels during a spring training game at Goodyear Ballpark on March 03, 2020 in Goodyear, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Norm Hall/Getty Images

Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor reportedly isn't interested in even discussing contract extension talks with the organization.  

Baseball writer Keith Law said Tuesday on the 92.3 The Fan's The Bull and The Fox show that Cleveland has reached out regarding extension talks but Lindor intends on hitting free agency:

Keith Britton @KeithBritton86

.@keithlaw on @BullandFox on #Indians - Lindor: "What I've actually heard...they would like to pay him, but he won't even entertain contract extension offers. Absolutely his right to do that. They've tried to have those conversations...there just hasn't been a negotiation at all"

Keith Britton @KeithBritton86

.@keithlaw on @BullandFox more on #Indians - Lindor: "I personally think, knowing him and knowing who his representative is, they just want to go to free agency. My understanding is, the team was willing to talk extension with him and he just said 'I'm going to free agency.'"

Lindor is under contract for $17.5 million in 2020 and is eligible for arbitration No. 3 in 2021 before he can become an unrestricted free agent ahead of the 2022 season. 

He'll likely see a major payday. The 26-year-old is a four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner who hit .284 with 32 homers, 74 RBI, 101 runs and 22 stolen bases in 2019. It was his third straight season with at least 30 homers and 15 stolen bases and his second straight year with 100 or more runs. 

So Cleveland has two choices: Trade Lindor at some point over the next two years to get back exciting young prospects, or ride it out the next two years and take a stab at re-signing him. The former option seems far more likely, even if Lindor has publicly expressed a desire to remain in Cleveland. 

"I want to win here. I want to stay in Cleveland. This is home," he told Zack Meisel of The Athletic in February. "I'm not playing to get traded or to put myself in a good spot to get traded for a numerous amount of players. I'm playing to win. I want to win here."

Cleveland, meanwhile, has reportedly engaged with a number of teams regarding Lindor in the past year. And in March, any discussions of an extension came to a halt

So for now, it appears as though Lindor's days in Cleveland are numbered. Tuesday's report doesn't make that any less likely.