Cleveland Indians play Tiddlywinks as Mets, Francisco Lindor play hardball

Cleveland Indians (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The idea of thinking the Cleveland Indians ever had a shot of re-signing Francisco Lindor is now laughable.

It was just two years ago reports popped up that the Tribe used its offseason to try and extend their superstar shortstop.

It’s since been reported that the Dolans’ best offer to retain the four-time All-Star was something around $200 million. That should’ve been the offer after the 2016 World Series, when the Tribe tried to lock up their homegrown talent to a $100 million extension.

It all looks ridiculous now that Lindor is a member of the Mets and the dollar signs that being reported in the media concerning contract extension talks. Lindor reportedly turned down 10-year, $325 deal and countered  with a 12-year, $385 million ask.

The Cumberland Gap thinks the distance between the sides is impossible to close.

Lindor’s asking price was always going in this direction though, ever since Mookie Betts singed a 12-year, $365 million extension with the Dodgers last year.  While Lindor is excellent, Betts had an MVP and a World Series title under belt when Betts finalized his extension with LA.

If Lindor can’t get a deal, a must-watch season storyline will follow the former first-round pick.

There’s going to be no shortage of big-name shortstops available, as Javier Baez, Trevor Story, Carlos Correa and Corey Seager will all hit the market. Do you pay Lindor $385 million when you can sign Story for $200 million? Story may get more, I’m just throwing a figure out there.

The bottom line is that the owners have options, and you can bet these billionaires won’t let us forget about the losses they’re going to endure through another season impacted by the coronavirus.

It’s one of the reason’s Lindor’s spot in time is so interesting. New Mets owner Steve Cohen didn’t endure the losses the other owners did. He’s a Mets fan who’s branded himself as someone who will spend to make the franchise competitive.

Cohen wanted Lindor enough to green light the trade with the Tribe. If he’s not going to extend Lindor, then who will?

If Lindor plays in a walk year, his production in-between the lines will be worth watching as well. He wasn’t himself in 2020 and he’s publicly talked about how he didn’t have his body properly conditioned. It cost him toward the end of the season, as well in a forgettable postseason performance against the Yankees.

It’s just one example, but adversity through a curve ball at Lindor last season and he whiffed, big time. Now, hang the contract thing over his head? He may play great and show he’s earned Betts’ type money, then again, he may not.

Remember, it was rumored that New York was not one of his desired locations.

Meanwhile the Indians have the lowest payroll in baseball, just after the franchise was valued to be worth $1.2 billion by Sportico. Now if that doesn’t get you psyched for a new season, what will?

We’re starting a once heralded prospect at first base who’s struggling to hit .200 because he’s out of options. Two of our relievers just qualified for their Golden Buckeye card and outside. Our Opening Day center fielder won the job after signing a minor-league contract because nobody else was good enough to stave him off.

Shane Bieber is as good as your going to get at the top of the rotation, but the rest of the staff? Twenty-nine big league starts to their name.

Upside? Sure, Triston McKenzie and Zach Plesac have it, but just a year and a half ago, the Tribe had Trevor Bauer, Corey Kluber (who’s looking great with the Yankees) and Carlos Carrasco.

Next. 3 prospects likely to be called up in 2021. dark

As the meme goes, everything is fine here!