We may be in for weeks of speculation centering on Indians superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor, who’s a potential trade candidate because he’s running out of team control and unlikely to sign an extension. For instance, Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com runs down reasons to trade Lindor now that he’s down to his second-last year of arbitration eligibility, while Paul Hoynes of cleveland.com names potential in-house replacements for the long haul should the Indians deal the 26-year-old. The team is indeed “receiving a lot of trade calls” for Lindor, Jon Heyman of MLB.com tweets. As you’d expect, though, the Indians’ public stance is that Lindor is likely to stay put. “My expectation is Frankie will be the shortstop Opening Day next year,” president Chris Antonetti said.
Here’s more from the game’s Central divisions…
- Tigers general manager Al Avila said this week that a “bat” – likely either an outfielder or a first baseman – as well as a backup catcher are on his shopping list, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com relays. It doesn’t seem that the Tigers will be adding a shortstop from outside, though. Rather, it looks as if utilityman Niko Goodrum is the favorite to land the job. Avila’s of the belief that young shortstop Willi Castro and catcher Jake Rogers, who made their major league debuts in 2019, need more seasoning at the Triple-A level.
- Various injuries have prevented 25-year-old Cardinals right-hander Alex Reyes from realizing his vast potential, but it appears he’ll enjoy “a normal offseason progression” this winter, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. Reyes, once among the game’s elite prospects, had an outstanding debut over 46 innings in 2016. He then missed all of 2017 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, threw 27 innings in 2018 (four in the majors) as a result of surgery to repair a tendon in his lat muscle and totaled just 40 1/3 frames this year (three at the MLB level) because of multiple health issues – including a strained pectoral.
- Pirates infielder Erik Gonzalez underwent left foot surgery Wednesday and won’t resume baseball activities for 10 to 12 weeks, Adam Berry of MLB.com tweets. It’s the second time Gonzalez has undergone surgery as a Pirate. The offseason acquisition from last winter underwent a procedure in April to repair a fractured left clavicle, which was one of multiple injuries that helped sideline him for the majority of the 2019 campaign. The 28-year-old posted woeful production over the 156 plate appearances he amassed, as he hit .254/.301/.317 with only one home run. He’s projected to earn $800K via arbitration in 2020.