Cleveland Indians star Francisco Lindor is expected to get huge pay raise through arbitration, plus, thoughts on other players edible for arbitration.
It’s expected the Cleveland Indians will toss around the idea of trading Francisco Lindor, because it’s all about the money for a cash-strapped franchise like the Tribe.
At this point of his career, Lindor is arbitration eligible. He made $10.5 million last season, but he’s expected to receive hefty bump in 2020, to the tune of $16.7 million, according to trade projections forecasted by MLB Trade Rumors.
He and the Indians could always work out a deal to avoid going to arbitration. That’s what happened last winter, when the two sides reached the eight-figure pact.
With the shortstop two seasons away from free agency, this offseason would be the optimal time to deal him if the Indians want to maximize what the franchise could get in return.
I know it’s crazy, but I’d like to see the Indians keep Lindor for his final two years if they can’t reach an extension and it looks less likely by the day. It’s been over 70 years since the Indians won a World Series. Lindor is a once-in-a-generation talent. With the rotation looking so strong thanks to the depth of the younger arms, let’s go for for the ring.
There are some other moves I’d like to see the Tribe make this offseason.
Here’s what the rest of the Indians eligible for arbitration are expected to earn: Danny Salazar, $4.5MM; Kevin Plawecki, $1.5MM; Cody Anderson, $800K; Nick Goody, $1.1MM; Nick Wittgren, $1.3MM; Mike Clevinger, $4.5MM; Tyler Naquin, $1.8MM; A.J. Cole, $800K.
1. It will be interesting to see what the Tribe decides with Salazar. The veteran hadn’t started a game since 2017, but made that one odd start on Aug. 1that went horribly wrong, lasting all of four innings. It turned out Salazar was battling a new injury (groin). We never heard from him again.
The Indians don’t throw money around, unless it’s to Salazar. The front office gave him $4.5 million last year, hoping he’d finally bounce back into the All-Star he was in 2017.
Will they do it again? They have so much invested in him and his shoulder wasn’t the reason his velocity was down in his lone start. The Tribe knows him better than anyone. If the velocity is there, they should retain him.
2. Clevinger is going into his first year of arbitration and he’ll receive a huge bump from the $592,000 he was making a season ago. The Indians need to start thinking about signing the right-hander to an extension.
3. I was curious to see what Trevor Bauer would command on the projection sheet because he was so inconsistent in 2019. The fear of paying him $20 million in his final season of arbitration was one of the reasons the Indians were expected to deal him.
Bauer landed in Cincinnati and finished the season with 253 strikeouts (fifth in baseball). He’s projected to earn $18.6 million if he goes to arbitration.