Aaron Doster/Associated Press
The Cleveland Indians entered Sunday in first place, but they could still move arguably their top player ahead of Monday’s trade deadline.
Though nothing is imminent, the “possibility exists” that he could be traded. Jon Heyman of MLB Network shared more insight into the market for Lindor:
Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
The Indians have been willing to discuss Francisco Lindor with teams as well, but price is so high there other teams see that as a long shot. Clevinger, while cheaper and contractually tied to team longer, is more replaceable. Indians are in 1st so they’d want big leaguers back!
Lindor is off to a slow start in 2020, hitting .267 with five home runs in 33 games, but he has been one of the best all-around players in baseball since entering the league in 2015. Over the past four years, he has earned four All-Star selections with two Gold Glove Awards and two Silver Sluggers.
The 26-year-old has one more year of team control before potentially hitting free agency after the 2021 season. Though he has professed his desire to stay with the team, the Indians might not be able to afford a long-term deal for the superstar.
Cleveland hasn’t been afraid to deal away top players even in the midst of a playoff race, trading pitcher Trevor Bauer last July. The squad also moved Corey Kluber in the offseason despite high expectations going into 2020.
The Indians currently have a 21-12 record on the season and are in first place in the AL Central, giving them 99.3 percent odds of making the playoffs, per Fangraphs. Any return for Lindor must likely provide the team with players who can help immediately as well as those under team control to extend the window of contention.