Any hope of a spring extension agreement between the Indians and star shortstop Francisco Lindor now seems to be gone. The 26-year-old tells Jason Lloyd of The Athletic (subscription link) that he and the team have “set aside” their talks on a long-term deal for the time being.
While it seems substantial talks have taken place, they obviously didn’t gain much traction. Lindor says that the club did not make an offer up to or over the $300MM level. He recently informed the front office that he would prefer to focus on the season ahead.
Just where the Cleveland organization was willing to go isn’t clear, but Lindor doesn’t seem inclined to take a big discount. He tells Lloyd that a contract along the lines of the recent Christian Yelich deal — $188.5MM of new money — wouldn’t hold appeal. And Lindor says he’s “very aware” of “what’s fair for both sides,” because he has personally “studied it.”
Lindor says he’s not bitter about the situation and remains interested in remaining in Cleveland over the long haul. But as Lloyd explains, that’s harder than ever to imagine.
With no evident possibility of a spring deal — barring a renewed pursuit by the club at a higher dollar amount, perhaps — the focus will now be on the summer trade market. If the Indians aren’t in a competitive position, they’ll surely at least entertain offers on Lindor.
All of the impediments to an agreement have long been evident, so this news doesn’t come as a surprise. But there had been some hope that the sides might figure out a way to line up, as both expressed an interest in doing so.