Report: Cleveland Indians intend to trade Francisco Lindor before Opening Day

Cash-strapped team can’t afford one of baseball’s top players

Lindor on future

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - It’s going to be the Winter of Discontent for Tribe fans, almost all of whom saw this coming, but were still holding out slim hopes that the Dolans could find their checkbook.

Frankie Lindor is all but gone. Longtime baseball writer Bob Nightengale, tweeting this out this morning:

“Cleveland, strapped for money, intend to trade All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor by opening day, several rival teams have been informed. Lindor earned $17.5 million last season and is projected to earn about $21 million in salary arbitration in his final year before free agency.”

The debate will continue to rage, of course, over whether the Dolans could find the money. They just saved nearly $30 million by not keeping Carlos Santana and Brad Hand.

But that’s one year’s pay for Lindor in a long-term deal. $30 million. As in 10 years, $300 mil. Maybe more.

The Indians couldn’t spend that on one player before the pandemic wiped out ways to make money.

Now? No way. Even though Lindor made it clear, he ain’t buying it.

“Of course. It’s a billion-dollar team,” Lindor said immediately after the Indians were eliminated from the playoffs by the Yankees. “Did you just see MLB just signed a $3 billion (TV) contract?”

We did see that. We’ve also seen the Indians dramatically cut payroll the past couple of years. Even if they stop the financial bleeding, they’re not about to suddenly gush out $300 million.

Major League Baseball is aiming towards an April 1 Opening Day in 2021. Francisco Lindor, one of the faces of baseball and just nine days away from turning 27 years old, will almost certainly be in a different uniform by then.

And for Tribe fans, that’s no April Fool’s Joke.

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