The Padres have at least kicked around the idea of attempting to swing a deal for Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports (subscription link). However, Rosenthal cautions that the superstar probably won’t end up in San Diego, which already has an enviable left side of the infield between shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and third baseman Manny Machado. In the unlikely event the Padres do wind up with Lindor, it seems they’d try to turn Tatis into a multi-position player (primarily a center fielder), though Rosenthal notes doing so could displease the 20-year-old and would likely receive pushback from his representatives. That’s important considering San Diego’s desire to extend the phenom.
On the plus side, in addition to picking up an elite player in Lindor, the Padres would keep him away from the division-rival Dodgers, who have been connected to him this winter. But the Lindor-related talks between LA and Cleveland have only been “preliminary” to this point, per Buster Olney of ESPN (subscription). The Indians, for their part, aren’t necessarily under pressure to trade Lindor right now – he still has two years’ control left and remains the best player on a team that has been a consistent playoff contender in recent seasons. That said, the Indians don’t appear to have much of a chance to extend Lindor, so perhaps they’ll be open to parting with him this winter.
Let’s check in on a couple more of baseball’s highest-profile trade candidates…
- Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported earlier this week that the Red Sox and Dodgers have had “exploratory trade talks” in regards to Boston outfielder Mookie Betts. The Dodgers have even included shortstop Corey Seager in discussions centering on Lindor and Betts, Nightengale relays. However, even though Betts only has a year of control left (in which he should make almost $30MM via arbitration), and even though the Red Sox are working to get under the $208MM luxury tax, it doesn’t look as if there’s any hurry to part with the former AL MVP. Instead, it seems the Red Sox’s preference is to trade from their starting staff, tweets the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, who hears that they and the Dodgers “had virtually no engagement” in regards to Betts at last week’s Winter Meetings.
- More from Rosenthal, who writes that the Yankees’ years-long interest in Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has continued. Nevertheless, there’s no momentum toward a deal as of now, Rosenthal adds. Schwarber has been a favorite of the Cubs’ front office, though trading him could be part of an offseason shakeup for a club that fell apart late in 2019. The 26-year-old slugger still has two seasons of arbitration eligibility remaining, and he’s coming off a pair of above-average campaigns, so he’d likely be difficult for the Yankees or anyone else to acquire.