The Indians “prefer not to deal” star shortstop Francisco Lindor this winter, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). Though his name his been through several rounds of the rumor mill, it seems the 26-year-old will remain in Cleveland — at least for the time being.
This report matches up with other recent chatter surrounding Lindor, who was said to be carrying a massive price tag on the market. Understandably, the Indians aren’t willing to make a deal that delivers anything less than a bonanza back.
It has been fair to wonder whether the Indians would put real effort into structuring a deal involving Lindor. The club wasn’t able to gain traction in prior extension talks. He’s now projected to earn $16.7MM entering his second-to-last season of arbitration eligibility. That’s a pittance for his production, but with Lindor closing in on the open market it seemed the small-market organization was positioned to listen to offers.
There could still be chatter surrounding Lindor (as well as some other huge names) over the coming days, weeks, and months. But if the Indians are indeed disinclined to make a deal, it’ll be incumbent upon other organizations to come forward with offers strong enough to spur interest on the part of an otherwise unwilling Cleveland organization.
Of course, even if Lindor stays put for the rest of this winter, it’s far from a guarantee that he’ll make it to free agency in an Indians uniform. Future circumstances will dictate the course of events, but Lindor would surely feature as a trade candidate next winter — if not sooner.