Does “top dollar” mean Mike Trout money for Francisco Lindor’s next contract?
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, said on the Big Time Baseball podcast, that Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor wants top dollar, which to the longtime writer, means Lindor is seeking the biggest payday in baseball history–larger than the extension Mike Trout signed with the Angels.
The Angels’ center fielder inked a 12-year, $426 million extension that will keep him in Anaheim through is age 38 season.
Lindor might not be the WAR machine that Trout is, but like many of us know–and Heyman pointed out–the four-time All-Star is one of the top-five players in the big leagues.
Here’s what Heyman hearing about Lindor’s next contract (39:42):
"“I’ve heard that he’s asking for the very top dollar, as in the toppest, the highest, I’m inventing words it’s so high, which would mean, obviously Mike Trout is the highest, right? His deal, including the two years he already had, was worth $426 million, and then you’ve got Betts with $365 [million]. If you go there, that’s still too much for Cleveland.“…Without hearing the specific figure, he’s looking to be paid with the very top players in the game. If you want to take that as Mike Trout, or if you don’t count Mike Trout, it’s with 426 or 365, that’s a lot of money for the Cleveland Indians to pay.”"
Heyman added that he doesn’t expect Lindor to be traded this season, with the expectation being teams won’t give up a prospect haul for a great player such as Lindor because there’s no guarantee the season will be able to finish.
That, and the Indians spot as contending playoff team, means Lindor will almost certainly stay put in his penultimate season with the Tribe.
Currently, the Indians are one of nine big-league teams to reach the double-digit victory mark in the 60-game regular season. With the postseason being extended to eight teams in each league–factoring in the Tribe’s stellar rotation–the Tribe has a great shot to be invited to October, and if that happens, well, anything can happen.
Lindor has struggled in the early going, batting .221 (.671 OPS) in 73 plate appearances. He’s hit into a league leading four double plays.
For fans who’ve wondered whether Lindor will be bumped back up to the leadoff position, don’t count on it. The guy who’s replaced him at the top of the order, Cesar Hernandez, has been one of the lineups most consistent players, as he’s batting .305 with a .414 on-base percentage.
It’s hard to beat up on Lindor after just 17 games, and he’ll likely turn things around. The No. 3 spot is typically where you want your best hitter. Fans of the 1990s remember that Ken Griffey Jr. always hit third, despite being headed toward a 600+ home run career.