Francisco Lindor Avoids Arbitration With Cleveland
On a big day, Francisco Lindor avoided the whole arbitration process by agreeing to a $17.5 million deal that also includes incentives. It marks the second-biggest contract for a player in his second year of arbitration eligibility. Lindor made $10.55 million across last season and was set to make $16.7 million according to some circles.
The Future is Still Questionable
Let’s make no mistake about this. While Cleveland fans are thrilled Lindor can focus on just baseball for at least one more season, there are dark clouds ahead. The Indians are an organization that has declined in recent years, in large part due to significant pieces departing. Ever since their 2016 World Series run, Cleveland fans have slowly been watching their team dismantle, despite posting 90 plus wins each of the last three seasons. Back in the 2016 season, the Indians housed such stars as Michael Brantley, Mike Napoli, Jesus Aguilar, and others. The departure of Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer also adds to the departures.
Ultimately, it’s clear that Cleveland is making a substantial push to improve areas within their farm system. Despite the likeability of Lindor, there’s no doubt about the value he possesses. Not to mention the value returned in a trade.
The Value of Lindor
The potential return on a trade is extremely tantalizing and would be for any team regardless of status. In 2019 alone, the four-time All-Star smoked 32 home runs. He also posted a hitting mark of .284/.335/.614 in over 650 plate appearances.
There hasn’t been a season that the 26-year old hasn’t been considered for a big honor. Four out of the past five seasons have witnessed Francisco Lindor post at least 70 RBI or more. Over the past four seasons, in particular, Lindor has posted the fourth-most RBI among shortstops in the MLB (333). What holds even more intrigue is the fact that he has been the most impactful shortstop. Over those same four seasons, Lindor has produced the lowest strikeout rate (13.8 percent) and the second-best WAR mark among all infielders (23.2).
Now make no mistake, while the potential return would be nice, Cleveland also must weigh in the sure production of Lindor himself. That may be the biggest factor that has kept him in Cleveland with a potential long-term future. Lindor has come into rarified air as an individual who can bring a lot to the table whether via trade or no trade. Despite the question marks that may flare up in the distant future, one thing is for sure. Cleveland fans will see their star in an Indians uniform, at least for the start of the 2020 campaign.