The Reds have “engage[d]” with the Indians in talks regarding shortstop Francisco Lindor, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter). There’s no indication to this point that the discussions are anything but exploratory in nature.
We’ve heard ongoing chatter regarding the Cleveland superstar. Lindor, who recently turned 26, is entering his second-to-last season of arbitration control and projects to earn $16.7MM. Having recently shipped out high-dollar hurlers Trevor Bauer (over the summer, to Cincinnati) and Corey Kluber (more recently, to the Rangers), the Indians are seemingly willing to listen on Lindor. But indication is that the club isn’t especially anxious to deal him.
While it’s still unclear whether there’s any significant likelihood of a swap coming together, it’s interesting to hear of ongoing talks from multiple quarters. The Padres and Dodgers are among the other organizations tied recently to Lindor, though in all cases we’ve yet to hear of anything approaching a concerted effort to pry loose the star shortstop.
No doubt it’d take a massive array of talent to coax the Indians into moving Lindor. Though it’s now quite difficult to imagine he will be retained for the long haul with an extension, he’s also still a reasonably priced young star on a team that is still in an open competitive window. The Indians can plausibly hope to cover the outgoing pitching from within, though they undoubtedly sacrificed quite a lot of near-term upside in the form of Bauer and Kluber. But there’s really no replacing Lindor.
Whether there’s a path to a deal remains to be seen, but the involvement of the Reds could help spur movement on the market. It is especially notable that the Cincinnati organization has recently hammered out complicated, multi-player deals with the Indians — as well as the Padres and the Dodgers, who could consider moving Corey Seager as part of or in a follow-up to a Lindor acquisition. Hypothetical possibilities abound. At minimum, the report makes clear that the Reds are still scanning the market in search of major improvements.