With elite free agents Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg having signed respective new contracts, the Cleveland Indians have fielded plenty of interest in Mike Clevinger and Francisco Lindor.
After weeks of speculation linking the Los Angeles Dodgers to Lindor, they were also said to have expanded talks with the Indians to include Clevinger as well. A trade for both players would represent the type of acquisitions Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the team is looking to make this winter.
That’s been followed by other clubs reportedly inquiring on Clevinger as well, with the L.A. Angels most recently said to have done so. According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the Indians sought top prospect Jo Adell in a trade for Clevinger, which could suggest a deal for the right-hander would net Cleveland a larger return than dealing Lindor:
The fact that the Indians asked for a player along with Adell suggests the price tag on Clevinger may be even higher than that of All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor. Sources say the Indians have asked for middle infielder Gavin Lux (MLB Pipeline’s No. 2 overall prospect) in their conversations with the Dodgers about Lindor.
Clevinger is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time in his career, and isn’t due to become a free agent until after the 2022 season. Lindor is on track to reach free agency after the 2021 campaign.
Along with Gavin Lux, the Indians are believed to have asked the Dodgers for Dustin May during trade talks. The Dodgers aren’t believed to have budged from their stance of keeping Lux and May, and with that, reportedly began to make some progress with the Boston Red Sox for a trade centered around Mookie Betts.
Late last month the Indians reportedly informed clubs to make their final offers for Lindor. Although that suggested a possible trade was imminent, there haven’t been updates since.
Of course, Cleveland had been insisting they were expecting to begin the 2020 season with Lindor still on their roster. That presumably applies to Clevinger as well, but if their demands were met, the Indians would be hard-pressed passing on trading either coveted player.