CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Moving wouldn’t be so tough on Frankie Lindor physically.
“Single, no kids, just two dogs," Lindor said with a laugh at the Indians spring training site in Goodyear, Arizona. “I can just pack up and go."
But emotionally, that’s different.
“I love it here,” Lindor said, repeating what he said at Tribe Fest a few weeks ago. “I love it here. I mean, the people are great, the city of Cleveland has been good to me. Why would I want to leave? If we had a team in Puerto Rico, then that would be a little different.”
Alright! We’re in the top 2.
But we’re in the bottom 6 when it comes to payroll this season. About $82 million today, down more than $40 million from just three years ago.
Lindor takes up $17.5 mil of that. So ... as much as he loves the Tribe, and as much as they love him, if you think they can double that ... which is what Frankie’s gonna get on the open market at some point ... and have him count for almost HALF of the total payroll ... you’re dreaming.
It’s an awesome dream. It’s just not realistic in a market like Cleveland.
“He’s such an incredible player,” Indians president Chris Antonetti said. “He’s a great teammate, he’s a pillar in the community. He’s everything that you’d want a player to be.”
Which is why he’s also going to be out of the Indians’ price range.
“It’s a really hard situation," Antonetti said. "It’s not because of a lack of desire, a lack of desire on our part or a lack of desire on Francisco’s part, but more, when you look at the economics of baseball, and the realities of building championship teams in a small market, it gets really tough."
Antonetti is still working it. Maybe a short-term extension is a possibility. But that doesn’t solve the long-term problem. Which is ... teams like the Tribe can’t afford the game’s superstars.
Even when they really want to stay.
“My approach this year is winning here,” Lindor said. "I want to win here. I want to stay here in Cleveland.
“This is home.”