In addition to the Los Angeles Dodgers pursuing Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, among others in free agency, they have been linked this offseason to potential blockbuster trades involving Mookie Betts and Francisco Lindor.
The Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians both are weighing financial factors, but they additionally have publicly declared a trade was not absolutely necessary.The possibility isn’t quite as pressing for the Indians, as Lindor remains under team control for two seasons.
There nonetheless has been plenty of trade speculation centered around the All-Star shortstop. The Dodgers are the team that’s been connected most often to Lindor.
However, Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti reiterated his belief Lindor will be with the team come Opening Day, per Mandy Bell of MLB.com:
“I still have every expectation that Francisco will be our shortstop Opening Day,” Antonetti said on a conference call on Wednesday. “I’m more confident today in saying that, as more of the offseason has passed. But that’s still our expectation.”
“I can’t control the conduct of other teams as far as them calling us with interest and wanting to explore things,” Antonetti said. “And as I’ve shared with you that we have a responsibility to be responsive to those teams when they engage with us. I can say that we’ve had conversations on the majority of our Major League roster and a bunch of players in our Minor League system over the course of the offseason. The majority of those guys, other than just a couple, are still with us.”
Antonetti first cast doubt on trading Lindor in middle of November, only for that to be followed by more indications the Indians were open to the scenario. Included in that was reportedly asking teams for their best and final trade offers late last year.
While the Dodgers have interest in Lindor, they also are said to have expanded trade talks to include Mike Clevinger as well. Such a deal presumably would require L.A. to part with several pieces and some of which being their highly-touted prospects.
Talks between the Dodgers and Indians were recently described as having grown stagnant because of Gavin Lux. The Dodgers continue to be against trading him, while the Indians seek Lux as part of their return.
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