It seems that for about six weeks last offseason that the rumors were hot, frequent, and heavy that the Cincinnati Reds were attempting to trade for Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor. A year later, Lindor is still in Cleveland and they are apparently trying to move him once again according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

There are a lot of reasons that Francisco Lindor would make sense for the Cincinnati Reds. Lindor has been one of the best players in Major League Baseball over the last half-decade. The Reds also have an opening at the shortstop position, particularly in the short term. Lindor is arbitration eligible this year and he’ll be entering his final year of team control before becoming a free agent following the 2021 season. He could provide tons of value for Cincinnati in 2021, and bridge the gap, potentially, to Jose Garcia in 2022.

But there’s a reason that, at least from an ownership standpoint, he doesn’t. Money. Plenty of money. Last offseason saw the Reds go out and spend money like they had never done before. And then 2020 happened, and teams more likely than not, took some losses because of it. All indications are that teams, almost unanimously, are going to be trying to cut salary this offseason. The Reds are likely feeling that way, too. Lindor, one of the better players in the game, is projected to make somewhere between $17,500,000 and $21,500,000 in 2021 according to MLB Trade Rumors (the difference is about how arbitration is handled because of the shortened 2020 season).

To acquire Francisco Lindor, though, doesn’t just require financial approval from Bob Castellini and the minority owners who have to write the checks, but the front office also needs to come up with a trade that Cleveland would accept for their superstar shortstop. The price in talent has to have come down since last offseason. First, you get a player for just one season instead of two. But second, teams are seemingly desperate to simply not have to pay salary. Lindor makes a lot of money, even if it’s just in 2021. A team that is willing to pay him that money probably doesn’t have to pay the same value in acquisition cost as they would in a “normal” offseason.

The biggest obstacle would be to get ownership on board for writing the check. Can you envision the small market Cincinnati Reds being one of seemingly a small number of teams to go out and try to add payroll in the offseason? It’s a tough sell. But it was also a tough sell a year ago today to say that the Reds would go out and spend the kind of money that they did to bring in Mike Moustakas, Nick Castellanos, Shogo Akiyama, and Wade Miley. Things are different now given the realities of the new world we’re living in that has all kinds of uncertainty built into it. But if a team wants to win more than they want to make money (in the immediate sense – the franchise value has nearly quadrupled since Bob Castellini’s group bought it in 2006 and when it sells, that money is going to be made in a big, big way), this is the offseason to spend and go for it. The market will be down because of how most other teams will be acting. Be bold. Go get Francisco Lindor.

95 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Doug Gray for Reds GM. Let’s go for it.

    • Redleg4life

      I don’t like the idea. First of all if the reds have 18-20 million then i say we go for bridge shortstop, and a good lefty for the bullpen. Alternatively we could sign some cheap starter to give lodolo another year.

      • Redleg4life

        Also we would have to give up someone good from the farm. So no lindor for me.

      • Mike

        Also Agree … Sooner or later the farm system HAS to produce . There are no shortcuts . Anyone who thinks the Reds are “close” (Lindor would put them over the top for 2021) did not watch many Reds games last season . They were NOT a good team . The Reds “Model” should be the Padres , White Sox or even the Tigers who are doing things the right way. .

    • Melvin

      Trade Senzel straight up who may not ever be anything but a part time player anyway. His value continues to go down, down, down. At the very least if we get Lindor for one year and lose him we will get a pretty good draft pick…and of course Lindor for a full season who, as Doug pointed out, could put us over the hump when every other team is probably not doing anything much except give up players. This of course only works without the David Bell factor but that’s not for this discussion. 🙂 Besides, we are all tired of losing and what we’ve been doing just hasn’t been working. We need to think outside the box and go for it.

      • swayback8

        No way that trade would work. Why in the world would they trade someone of his value for someone that you say “value continues to go down, down, down.” They thought outside the box for the last two years when they traded away a lot of prospects for pitching and signed guys that were supposed to be offensive upgrades.

      • JayTheRed

        I think Senzel can be part of the deal but its probably going to take him, a good pitcher and another pretty good prospect at the minimum.

      • earmbrister

        Yeah, I’m not trading Senzel for one year of Lindor (nor Winker for that matter). Still believe that he will be a quality bat. Would rather spend the $ for a short term fix at SS, maybe Didi if he’s not getting the long term $ that he seeks.

  2. Colorado Red

    Bad Idea.
    1. The Reds are not even that close to competing yet.
    2. The cost talent is too high.

    Then he is gone after 1 season, and we are back in the rebuild mode, with a weak farm system.

    • scotly50

      I agree. After next season 4 or 5 of the top shortstops will be free agents. Then would be the time to pick up Lindor.

      • JayTheRed

        And there will be 29 other teams vying for those top SS. Competing with each other raising the price tag.

    • swayback8

      Agree completely. Need well thought out decisions with longer term plans in mind.

    • doofus

      Should the Reds trade for Trevor Story? I believe that you advocated for that a few days ago, which I agree with.

      • Colorado Red

        I would only want to trade for him, if he signs an extension.
        I think he is better then Lindor, and when he stays at sea level (more or less), he will be better’

    • doofus

      If they just made the playoffs how can you proclaim that they are not close to competing?

      • Colorado Red

        They made the 7th seed with just over a 500 record. Does not make it in a normal year.

      • KDJ

        When over half the teams make the playoffs, it is not great accomplishment. I am glad they made it, and I would have liked to have seen them score a run, but there is a lot more improvement needed.

    • doofus

      “Always with the negative waves Moriarty, always with the negative waves.”

      • greenmtred

        They made the playoffs, yes, but I watched a number of the games, and the negative waves washed over me pretty convincingly.

      • MICHAEL E

        Don’t hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning. Think the bridge will be there and it will be there. It’s a mother, beautiful bridge, and it’s gonna be there.

      • MICHAEL E

        Got it on blu-ray I think, I love that movie. Oddball.

        That crazy Mulligan’s droppin em all over the place!

    • doofus

      How do you know what the cost in talent will be?

      • Colorado Red

        I am a genius, it will be more then he is worth for one year.

    • Hotto4Votto

      I agree that the cost of the talent is too high. Especially considering the available quality SS’s on the market that wouldn’t cost as much in dollars and would cost nothing in prospects. The time to trade for Lindor was last season. The Reds missed the boat last offseason to improve in a major area of need, no need to double down on that by trying to swing the deal a year late.

  3. Mark Moore

    Hard pass from me. Cost in cash and players for one year is just too much. If it were just the cash, I’d be fine with it given the vast uncertainty that is 2022 anyway, but I don’t want to gut the farm (what little there is) to meet whatever Cleveland is asking.

    • MICHAEL E

      Agreed. Now if the Indians want to trade him straight up for one prospect, or Winker or Senzel, I still consider it. I don’t think either of those guys are going to reach what was their potentials. Winker is slow and marginally injury prone. Senzel is very injury prone and I have serious doubts he’ll be anything but a bust when factoring in injuries sapping his speed or power.

      I may eat crow, but I’d be fine moving either of them in a trade that improves the team, even if just one year. I don’t think Lindor is all that though, so thats more why I don’t like the idea of the trade. If Lindor doesn’t meet expectations, he’ll be an overpaid one and done.

      The reality is, the rest of the team that all disappointed at the plate this year, need to take a step forward…that includes EVERY single player. If they play in 2021 like they did this year, we aren’t making the playoffs even WITH Lindor and supposed improvement from SS output.

  4. Tom

    If Cleveland will take Iglesias, Senzel and Bob Stephenson and call it good – fine. Otherwise, no, no and hell no. A package of the Reds best young and inexpensive players is not a good deal. Senzel I have no problem with because he is made of glass. Closers, unless they are elite, and Iglesias is not elite, are a dime a dozen. And Robert Stephenson is a fly ball pitcher in Great America Small Park (GASP). But none of this Greene, Lodolo, Tyler Stephenson, Jonathan India and a boatload of cash. The Reds need to be getting younger and less expensive. Sure, Lindor is a very good player, but if he gets hurt or does not perform up to expectations next year, it would be all for naught. And trading the best young players in the organization would set the team back for years, especially since they have more than a few positions that need upgrading.

    • Melvin

      Cleveland has liked Senzel in the past and just for one year of LIndor might just take him and not much more. Of course I don’t think we should give up the farm but I think we have enough major league talent, in outfielders alone, to get the job done in the current environment. I’d rather give up Senzel and Winker in a package than a lot of young talent in the minors. As I’ve stated before Winker, although not as much as Senzel, is also injury prone and except for a hot streak here and there doesn’t provide much value otherwise in terms of defense, speed and arm.

      • Redleg67

        Last year Cleveland asked for the farm for Lindor. Who’s to say they won’t do the same this off season?

      • Doug Gray

        They asked. They also didn’t get.

    • swayback8

      Why would Cleveland take two injury prone players and a “dime a dozen” closer for one of the most valued players on the trade market?

      • Melvin

        haha Well I wouldn’t but maybe Cleveland would value those two and, while they are not prospects any longer, they are still young and do have value. They seem to in the past as Senzel was THE major piece in trade talks last year. Winker would be a good DH for them maybe. Hey. We could throw in David Bell as some have suggested. lol Seriously we’d probably have to throw in some more but not too much more since they are in a bind to have to trade him before they lose him next year. The idea is that if we could make it work without giving up too many prospects. Cleveland has been a good trade partner in the past. If we wanted to make it work I think we could….and should.

      • Tom

        Because if the Indians don’t sign him for big $$$ the only thing they get is a draft pick in compensation. Which means they have to trade him or sign him and obviously they are going to trade. Look at what the Dodgers gave up to get Mookie Betts and David Price? Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wong! Any team that gets Lindor in a trade may only get him for one year. And in the aftermath of the 2020 season very few teams want to shell out big $$ for free agents, and guess what, they will get a draft pick in compensation. The Indians trading Lindor is a salary dump and they are not in a position to ask for much.

      • KDJ

        People make bad decisions all the time.

    • Colorado Red

      Too much, If you look at baseball trade values dot com. Nick is more valuable then Lindor.

      • Tom

        Based on what metrics? Long term potential, smaller salary and length of contract control or actual production? Nick Senzel has not shown any ability to play even a majority of the season and his numbers have not been great. I would trade Senzel for Lindor straight up in a heartbeat.

  5. Sliotar

    My only question to those writing today, “Reds are too far away” or similar …

    When are the Reds going to be closer to contending than 2021?

    Trade for Lindor … and …

    -Reds are adding top-level offense and filling biggest hole (SS), both at once
    -Castellanos is back for 2021 (at least),
    -Gray/Castillo anchor rotation
    -Votto/Moustakas are aging but quite possibly better than wRC+ 100 in 2021

    The Reds in 2022/2023 look worse than now, IMO … and eventually the Cubs new TV money and Cardinals Devil Magic will kick in.

    Go get Lindor for 2021 … especially while Indians are desperate to trade him now.

    • Doc

      Lindor’s offense was more pedestrian than top level in 2020.

      • doofus

        Was Lindor’s offense in prior years pedestrian, which were full seasons?

      • Doc

        Votto’s offense in prior years was better than pedestrian…until it wasn’t. No way to know if 2020 was the one off, or an aberration.

  6. LDS

    Seems like a bad idea from a cost/benefit perspective. Depends on how confident they are that Garcia is “real”. If Cleveland would take Winker straight up and Lindor renegotiates as part of the deal, as Gray did then maybe. Otherwise, if they think Garcia is real, sign one of the cheaper guys, e.g., Simmons and call it a day. Besides spending $20+ million for another all star player for Bell to screw up is senseless. Maybe Bell for Lindor, that would be even better.

    • Jimbo44CN

      Agree with the Bell for Lindor trade!

      • Melvin

        Hahaha! Wouldn’t that be nice! Maybe even throw in a million or two. lol

    • doofus

      I like Garcia, but I believe that he is a good glove no bat guy.

      And, one of those players that fans fall in love with because he is one of theirs.

      • Doc

        You may be right, but the balls I saw him hit in the games I attended in Goodyear were impressive.

      • JayTheRed

        Doc you can’t base things off spring training. As much as I HOPE Garcia is going to be a productive major league hitting HOPE is not an answer to success.

      • doofus

        If only Garcia hit impressively during his stint with the big club this year.

      • DaveCT

        He’s never played above Class A ball, so he’s needs some slack. And he hit very well at Class A

      • Melvin

        In defense of Garcia, who I like and think will be pretty good in the not too distant future, he wasn’t exactly the ONLY ONE who wasn’t hitting this past year. At least he has an excuse being a young rookie.

  7. Klugo

    I wouldnt give too much for only one year. Senzel AT THE MOST.

    • Colorado Red

      I agree.
      That is only a small overpay.

    • JayTheRed

      Sorry giving away Senzel is not any kind of overpay. The kid has potential but has NEVER been able to show it or prove he has it at the major league level for more than maybe a 1/5 of a season.

    • MICHAEL E

      Agreed, one and only one true upside player. At this point Senzel’s upside is degrading year by year. That said, NO WAY I include a Lodolo, or Greene or Ty Steph. The only prospect in top 10 would be India or some other lower top 10 prospect.

      now, if they want one of those top prospects, given how much Lindor is going to cost us in salary, then get back a prospect from them we covet, but maybe a bit lower down the overall prospect list. Maybe trade trade for a top notch young 2B or RP that is near ready to come in at league minimum and add + value to the Reds in 2021 or 2022.

      Otherwise, pass on Lindor if they want more than 1 from the top 5 prospect/Senzel/Winker pool. Lindor and his $20+ million salary and one-and-done are NOT worth more than that.

      I’d rather trade Senzel for their own top prospect than as part of a package for Lindor, due to big difference in payroll impact and keeping (well, in terms of budget, not owner worth) the team from adding a necessary FA in 2021.

  8. Aaron B.

    This team is bad offensively, I know we all agree on that. Sp I suggest it is way past time to get creative. Senzel should be the SS. He has the ability. Larkin will help him some more in camp and sure there will be bumps in the road but so be it. The Big Red Machine would adapt to positions as needed to field their best team. Senzel is the one guy on this team that can literally play anywhere as a plus defender.

    • LDS

      Senzel is also the one guy that can’t seem to stay healthy and in the lineup.

      • MICHAEL E

        This. People keep acting like Senzel is a caged lion ready to spring into stardom. He can’t stay in the lineup and then when he does play for a few weeks he is nothing special. If he can be traded for a top prospect or a solid WAR player, I wouldn’t hesitate. Let him be another teams problem with constant injuries and pedestrian play.

  9. doofus

    If the infield defense at SS is improved with say a Lindor or Story, does Bauer sign with Cincinnati? I acknowledge that any deal is predicated on ownership providing the coin.

    Here are two deals to consider;

    1. Lindor, Plesac and DeShields for Senzel, Mahle and Garcia; or,

    2. Story and Freeland for Mahle and India.

    Bob Castellini is not getting any younger. I believe that he wants a championship. The NL Central is up for grabs. The present roster with key additions can take this division and contend for a title.

    I will now take your questions.

    Ownership should GO FOR IT!

      • Jimbo44CN

        Absolutely no way they would give up Plesac. Young stud. Deshields? Maybe, but he is at the end of his career.

      • doofus

        Why is Deshields who is 28 years old at the end of his career?

    • Jimbo44CN

      Sorry, for some reason thought Deshields was older, doesn’t change my answer though, still no.

    • Colorado Red

      Yes on 2.
      No on 1.

      I love Story and Freeland.
      Get him out of coors, before it is too late.
      Rox still say no.

      • doofus

        de l’audace, encore de l’audace, et toujours de l’audace!!!!

  10. Aaron B.

    While I am on a roll here I would platoon Votto, let Catellanos play some 1B so we can get the Punisher more playing time. Akiyama should be the daily starting CF at the top of the order no platoon nonsense.

    • Jimbo44CN

      Agree except I think keep Castellanos in Right for now. Moose to 1st, Senzel to second, Aquino in left.

      • Aaron B.

        then who plays SS? I am suggesting Senzel should be SS. He is certainly athletic enough.

    • Chris Holbert

      Aquino has had one good month. Can the Reds really afford more swing and miss or home run offense?

    • 2020ball

      I get everyone wants to replace Votto, but why in the world would we do it with an inferior player?

  11. Kevin Patrick

    In order to have a trade that worked for Cleveland and the Reds, I would think the situation would have to be either one where Cleveland gets a young low cost prospect of superior quality… or they get the opportunity to fill some holes in their anticipated roster in a cost effective way. How would that work with the Reds? Nobody really wants to trade Senzel… that has the potential to really blow up in the Reds’ faces. Greene? Maybe… I think the more likely match could be made in an exchange of salary for talent…where the Indians pay significantly less than they otherwise would have…but still fill some holes. I can see a guy like Wade Miley, Tucker Barnhardt, and Iglesias being possible pieces in a trade. The Reds may be looking for opportunity to withdraw from commitment to pay current players as well.

    • JayTheRed

      Assuming Disco and Bauer are gone and yes there are some other pretty decent starting pitchers out there besides these two in free agency. We are going to need Lodolo and Greene for the future. I don’t trade either of these two unless there is come kind of multi year deal option given to the reds to negotiate kinda like Gray did.

  12. c w Lackey

    Sign DIdi or trade for Lindor. That would solve the SS position. Bauer says he wants to stay in Cindy. Does he really. Reds have players to trade. Surely a magical trade or signings will perk the team up

  13. Hanawi

    Reds should be going for it the next two years, because then it’s going to be rebuild time again. I’d give up Senzel for Lindor, but not much more, which might be enough given the payroll relief they would also be offering Cleveland. Given their recent track history, I expect them to throw Lodolo in any deal since they apparently hate having left handed pitching prospects. They desperately need another big-time hitter in the lineup and the picking are slim. They could try for Realmuto instead.

    They will need some bullpen reinforcements as well. Hand would give them a much needed left-hander to team up with Garrett. There’s a few other names that might be interesting as well.

  14. IndyRedsFan

    As with any trade, whether it’s a good idea or a bad one comes down to what you have to give up.

    Cleveland isn’t going to trade Lindor straight up for Senzel. I expect they’ll ask for Senzel and Green and Lodolo and Garcia and hope to get 2 of the 3 plus a couple of lesser prospects.

    Don’t forget that there are other teams out there wanting Lindor. Remember what the Dodgers gave up for Betts.

    • Chris Holbert

      I agree, and IMO the Reds have nothing close, they can afford to give up, to what the Dodgers gave up for Betts.

  15. TR

    I would go for it with a couple of caveats. 1. That the consensus is that Jose Garcia is not going to develop into a good ML hitter. 2. That Lindor, going into his age 28 season, agrees to at least a three year contract. 3. Include Senzel and Garcia in the trade, but not Lodolo or Greene.

  16. Redgoggles

    No way under practically any circumstances would I give up young, cost controlled prospects for a questionable amount of a season of Lindor, due to COVID or injury. If Reds go all in and miss, it will set them back even further. Now that all changes if Lindor agrees to extension, but why would he? The cost in cash and free agent capital is too much, imo. You can hedge those bets with Simmons or package our newly minted GG catcher with Mahle or Antone and get an up and coming SS or CF.

    • doofus

      Seriously, I am curious, what up and coming SS or CF would the Reds possibly get for Barnhart, Mahle and Antone?

      I like outside the box thinking.

  17. Stock

    I am not positive you need much at all to acquire Lindor.

    Aquino, Santillan and Vladimir Guiterrez.

    I know this sounds like a weak offer but I think many 5th year players (like Lindor) will not even be tendered a contract. The above package is better than nothing.

  18. Bill C

    NO! For one year to give up talented prospects that we’ve developed for years? No way. All we need is a hitting coach who can bring out the talent we already have.

    • Jimbo44CN

      Agree,
      Giving up prospects for a one year rental is not the way to go. Get a new hitting coach and please, please a new manager and we have a chance.

      • TR

        A new manager is difficult since Bell has one year left on his contract. A change in hitting coach is key and probably can be done by the GM. Without a change, it’s going to be, IMO, the ‘same old, same old’ offensively for 2021.

    • DataDumpster

      Agree. Forget about Lindor, Bauer and all the other big money guys. Ownership spent quite a bit the last few years and have given the new manager everything he could have needed to be successful. Except for hiring Derek Johnson, everything else was squandered. Look at the hitting stats of the mainstays of 2018 and all their newly acquired guys from 2019. How could all these guys fail so miserably (30-40 point decline in BA, etc.).
      As long as David Bell remains, I have no hope for anything better than another .500 season of extremely boring, predictable and unenthusiastic play followed by vapid post game comments of the unshaven one hiding under his hat.

  19. MBS

    The main issue with most of the comments that i have read, is a misunderstanding of who has the leverage in this trade. The team trading for Lindor has the leverage, as I have said before, and Doug said above. Cleveland put themselves in a horrible position with Lindor. They held onto him to long, like we did with our players in 13, 14, and 15. So you have diminished value (1 year control). They have been shedding pay for 2 seasons in a row. We are going into an unknown situation in 2021, after a horrible (money wise) 2020 season for the owners. A teams top 10 prospect plus a flyer or 2, and a willing partner is all that will be required.

    • Sliotar

      @MBS

      Good post … though I don’t think folks here are that off the mark.

      We all lived through a re-build that was and is … botched.

      I can understand the concern of trading away the few prospects the Reds have …

      but, you are spot on, IMO, about how constrained the market really is for Lindor this winter.

      Indians desperately need a MLB-ready OF, or two … even if it had to be a 3-team trade, there is no reason the Reds can’t be a serious suitor for Lindor.

      And, they should be a serious suitor for Lindor, IMO.

  20. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Maybe. Again, it all depends upon what we give, and do the Indians want it.

    I wouldn’t let go of any high prospect like Tyler Stephenson. Maybe someone like 8-15 in our prospect list, at most. Honestly would throw in Senzel, also. Oft injured, so he can’t be counted on to be a starter. Makes him nothing more than a sub. A good sub probably, but still a sub. And, we need offensive help.

    And/or, only if we can extend him.