Almost all of last offseason the rumors were hot and heavy that the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians had been discussing a trade that would have brought shortstop Francisco Lindor to Cincinnati. It was a trade that never happened. It didn’t happen with Cincinnati and it didn’t happen anywhere else, either. The asking price was through the roof, which wasn’t unexpected given just how good Lindor is.
This offseason is likely to be full of plenty more Francisco Lindor trade rumors. And the reasons are going to be the same as before: Cleveland doesn’t have any plans to sign him long term. Bradford William Davis of The New York Daily News asked Lindor last week if Cleveland should spend more money. After laughing, he did give an answer that sort of tip-toed the line between not throwing someone under the bus, but you also got the impression he wanted to say yes.
Lindor: “We don't have the highest payrolls. we will never have that. We won't have a team where there's… there's five to eight guys hitting 35-40 runs.”
– should the team spend more?
Lindor: “hahahahahaha. Should the team spend more? Hahaha.” pic.twitter.com/krUODocDJM
— Bradford ("playoff b") William Davis (@_beewilly) October 1, 2020
While we don’t really know how to project what kind of contract Francisco Lindor will wind up with next offseason because of all that’s going on in the world and the uncertainty around finances, he’s going to get more money than anyone else on the market is going to, and probably by a decent chunk.
R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports looked at possible destinations for the Cleveland shortstop this offseason. Among the teams in the “makes the most sense” group is the Cincinnati Reds. Fans of the Reds would be thrilled to have Francisco Lindor, but as with every trade, the cost of acquisition matters.
That’s where the trade gets a bit outrageous. Anderson suggests that the Reds could offer Nick Senzel, Tyler Stephenson, Jose Garcia, AND Jonathan India for Francisco Lindor. Now, if that package were offered three seasons ago, it might make some sense. Offered today, when you probably have to pay Lindor $20+M and you only get him for one seasons? Well, as I said – it’s a bit outrageous.
There’s no question that landing a player the caliber of Francisco Lindor would work wonders for the team in 2021. He’s one of the best shortstops in baseball. But much like Cleveland, it’s just difficult to see Cincinnati signing him long term. And if that’s not going to be the case, trading that kind of package for him simply doesn’t add up.