Francisco Lindor didn’t call the Indians cheap, but he certainly insinuated it.
In the latest example that the star shortstop will likely be playing elsewhere next year, Lindor made it sound like his time in Cleveland is coming to an end after the Indians were swept in the AL wild-card series by the Yankees.
“It’s not a surprise. It makes sense,” the four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner told reporters over Zoom on Thursday, when asked about the trade rumors he’s heard, with just one year remaining on his contract.
“It is what it is. You can’t cover the sky with one hand. It makes sense. It’s the reputation the organization has. It is what it is. On the other hand, I can’t control the future. I can’t control the moves this organization makes.”
Lindor, 26, was set to make $17.5 million after an arbitration hearing with the team last offseason. He is arbitration eligible for one more season before becoming a free agent after 2021. Lindor hit .258 with eight home runs and 28 RBIs while playing in all 60 games of the coronavirus-shortened season. He said the Indians “of course” can meet his asking price.
“It’s a billion-dollar team,” he said.
When it was suggested that COVID-19 could have a negative impact on long-term contracts, Lindor said: “Did you just see MLB just signed a $3 billion [TV] contract?”
These comments will only fuel speculation that Lindor will get moved by the small-market Indians, who are notorious for trading young stars rather than paying them. Lindor’s last game as an Indian may have been Wednesday night’s crushing 10-9 loss to the Yankees.
“It has crossed my mind because a lot of you guys have mentioned it,” he said. “I haven’t really sat back and thought about it. But if I said it hasn’t crossed my mind, I’d be lying because on social media, everybody, that’s all they talk about and that’s what you have been talking about for the past year.”