With only two years left on his contract, Francisco Lindor may not be in a Cleveland Indians uniform much longer (as the team's owners have clearly stated, enjoy him!). As he enters his prime and becomes less affordable, the Indians may prepare to trade him before things get too dicey, sacrificing goodwill in the name of team-building. Knowing what we know, here are four potential blockbuster deals to find Lindor's next home.
And no, the Dodgers are not on this list. Come on, LA. You have plenty of infielders.
4. Lindor to the Yankees for Clint Frazier and Estevan Florial
With the Yankees not giving Didi Gregorius a qualifying offer, there may be a hole at shortstop the Yankees would rather fill with Lindor full-time, rather than Gleyber Torres. Torres did an adequate job while Gregorius was out for part of the 2019 season, but he's young and erratic, and could slot in at second while DJ LeMahieu mans first and/or third, covering for potential Gio Urshela and Luke Voit regressions. Frazier, as always, is the odd man out, and Florial is the power-hitting center fielder the Indians need.
3. Lindor to the Nationals for Victor Robles and Carter Kieboom
Though the entire city is basking in a championship afterglow, Anthony Rendon's landing spot is still uncertain. While Trea Turner is Washington's everyday shortstop, he has played some time at second base and in center field. If Rendon were to leave, Washington could move some pieces around, and probably save a little bit of money by picking up Lindor. Robles is an above-average hitter and a solid defensive outfielder, a good return considering the length of Lindor's contract. Throw in a top infield prospect like Carter Kieboom, and you may have something here.
2. Lindor to the Brewers for Keston Hiura and Trent Grisham
Orlando Arcia has been good for Milwaukee at shortstop, but has not played to his full potential. The Brewers are in the middle of their potential championship window right now, and a switch-hitting Lindor in the middle of the order would make Christian Yelich even more frightening to face (and, strangely enough, the franchise has been more than willing to reside in "win now" mode). Hiura hit .303 with 19 home runs and 49 RBI in just 84 games in his rookie year, and is a much cheaper potential All-Star middle infielder for Cleveland. Grisham -- how can we put this? -- might be better served bringing his slugging talents elsewhere after his Wild Card Game gaffe.
1. Lindor to the Cubs for Kyle Schwarber and Nico Hoerner
Lindor and Javier Baez played together on the Puerto Rican team for the World Baseball Classic in 2017. If Ben Zobrist doesn't return, the Cubs could move Baez back to second base, cut bait with Addison Russell (please), and form an historically great double play combo. Hoerner is a strong hitter who could move from shortstop to second base or a corner outfield spot due to his arm strength, and Schwarber, an Ohio Native, continues to prove with each passing year that he deserves a DH opportunity. The flexibility that Lindor provides would help Cubs fans get over that emotional loss rather quickly, once the games began.