Things have been quiet as of late on the Francisco Lindor trade rumor front as the calendar has flipped from 2019 to 2020, but now as all of Major League Baseball executives get back to work, rumors likely will start to pop up again.
It took one day for the first 2020 Lindor rumor to start, and it comes in as more of a prediction instead of a rumor.
The prediction comes from former Cincinnati Reds general manager Jim Bowden, who thinks that Lindor will be traded, and it will be to the team that he once ran down in Cincinnati.
Bowden, who works for a variety of outlets, wrote a year-long prediction piece for The Athletic, and his second prediction in the piece, coming in the month of February, is that Lindor will finally be traded, and it will be to the Indians rival in their annual ‘Battle of Ohio.’
Here’s what Bowden has to say about Lindor going to the Reds.
“Lindor is traded from the Cleveland Indians to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for outfielder Nick Senzel, infielder Jonathan India, right-handed pitcher Tyler Mahle, and a player to be named.”
Here’s a little bit on the players that in this trade prediction would come back to the Indians:
Nick Senzel – 24-year-old centerfielder who last season with the Major League Reds hit .256 with 12 homers, 42 runs batted in and 14 steals. Was the number two pick of the Reds in the 2016 MLB amateur draft, and was the team’s top prospect heading into last season.
Senzel hit an impressive .312 in 239 minor league games before being called up last May. One issue is that he plays centerfield, a position the Indians already seem to have too many of. He also has spent time at third and second base, and just started playing in center last offseason.
If a deal with the Reds is made at some point for Lindor, Senzel is a player the Indians likely will have their eyes on, but where he would play for the Indians is possibly the biggest question.
Jonathan India – The 23-year-old third basemen was the 2018 SEC Player of the Year playing at the University of Florida. He was the fifth pick in the draft back in the 2018 MLB amateur draft by the Reds.
Last year he played at A advanced ball and at AA, and in those places hit a combined .259 with 11 homers and 44 runs batted in.
Scouting reports say that India has both above average speed as well as above average power, and at third base is also an above average defender.
Tyler Mahle – The 6’3, 220 pound pitcher has started 52 games over the last three seasons at the Major League level, and has had a number of struggles.
Last season was his worst year, as he went 3-12 with a 5.14 ERA. The former seventh round pick of the 2013 MLB draft is still just 25 years old, and maybe a change of scenery would be a good move for the right handed thrower.
Mahle showed promise in 2018, going 7-9 with a more manageable ERA of 4.98. It remains to be seen what role he will fill for the Reds in 2020, as he currently isn’t listed as one of the teams five starters.
This isn’t the first time the Reds have been linked to the Indians this winter, and while this is just a prediction from someone within the game, the Reds could be an interesting trading partner for Lindor if the team still moves in that direction as the new year begins.