Cleveland Indians: 3 players that COVID might force them to trade

Cleveland Indians (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians Francisco Lindor (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

1. Francisco Lindor

When I told a friend baseball was eyeing a comeback on July 1, he jokingly said, “July 2, the Indians trade Francisco Lindor.”

It’s funny, sad, and probably true.

With the Indians losing all their revenue streams from hosting fans at Progressive Field this season, it’s entirely possible that the team may not want to pay Francisco Lindor his $17.5 million salary.

Fans were preparing for Lindor to be traded anyway, but at the least, we’d thought we’d get to see him for the first half of this season.

Lindor should still be able to give the Indians a decent prospect haul, which will be critical in helping the Tribe stay competitive in the 2020s. Perhaps I’m just being too grim, but I forecast a lot more cust-cutting measures form ownership since fans won’t be in attendance this season.

The pressure will be on the Indians to hit on their prospects as signing any kind of free agent in the future will be a luxury that the Tribe will probably claim it can’t afford.

If the Tribe doesn’t trade him this season, his his trade value will be considerably less, as he’ll be under team control for just one more season, and speaking right now, the Tribe probably doesn’t want to pay him the $20 million+ salary he’ll earn if he goes back to arbitration for 2021.

Note, that if the Tribe does move Lindor, they better do a heck-of-a-lot better than they did for Corey Kluber.

In Emmanuel Clase, the Indians received a player who’s already been injured and is now suspended for PED use. Wouldn’t you just rather have the two-time Cy Young Award winner in the rotation? So would I, but there were $17.5 million reasons for the Indians to ship him off.