With the Cleveland Indians publicly stating that Francisco Lindor will likely be dealt this offseason, teams are lining up to come up with trade packages for the infielder’s services. Previously, many speculated that Lindor and the Indians were done after this season, as he is set to hit free agency after the 2021 season. Seemingly, whatever team trades for him will probably look to sign him long term.
The Dodgers and Lindor have been linked for a couple of seasons now. It began when Corey Seager went down and had to get Tommy John surgery in 2018. The Dodgers eventually traded for Manny Machado that season and went back to Seager once he returned healthily.
Having a deep farm system has allowed the Dodgers to pull off these kinds of trades in recent years. However, the best chance for Lindor to come to the Dodgers may have already passed seasons ago.
Seager is also set to hit free agency after the 2021 season, and this season he heavily improved the case for his services in Los Angeles. For the majority of the season, Seager was the Dodgers’ best hitter, and it translated to the postseason where he hit five homers in the NLCS earning MVP honors in that series and then earning MVP honors in the World Series.
Similarly, several other key players on the team are approaching their free agency and the Dodgers will be pursuing long-term contracts. Along with Seager, Cody Bellinger and Walker Buehler will be eligible for free agency within a couple seasons.
If the Dodgers do decide to pursue Lindor, a likely package could consist of a young arm such as Tony Gonsolin or Dustin May, adding in perhaps catching prospect like Keibert Ruiz or a infiedling prospect Gavin Lux. The Indians may want two high-tier prospects who would be considered close to being big-league ready.
Other teams vying for Lindor are rumored to be the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and New York Mets.
In all likelihood, if the Dodgers do get Lindor, they will be faced with the situation of who they want to pay long term. All signs as of now point to the Dodgers wanting to sign Seager and Bellinger long term, but we’ve seen things unravel before differently.
Honestly, in my personal view, I believe the Dodgers are more than fine without Lindor. Two years ago I would have definitely pulled the trigger, but Seager is definitely a franchise shortstop in my view. If the Dodgers were to pursue any trade candidate, I would go for Nolan Arenado, with Turner getting up in age and prospect Kody Hoese still being a couple seasons away. However, it is hard to see the Rockies trading within the division.
Ultimately, I think the Dodgers stay put and do no trade for Lindor. The core they have now is certainly capable of repeating as World Series champions.
A little prediction: Mets new owner Steve Cohen makes an offseason splash and brings Lindor to the New York Mets.