Is Indians SS Francisco Lindor Set to Wear Dodger Blue in Los Angeles in 2021?
To say that 2020 has been a strange year for Indians superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor would be an understatement.
From being the focus of all of baseball at the MLB Winter Meetings last December, to answering questions all spring training in Arizona about either coming back to the Indians or being traded, Lindor clearly looks like he's playing distracted this season.
The 26-year-old got off to a very slow start in the shortened 60-game slate, but after Tuesday's game in which he hit a two-run homer to put the Indians up 5-3 at one point, he's hitting .287 with seven homers and 19 RBI.
Despite the numbers being at or near normal for Lindor, there have been a number of moments that have had fans scratching their heads, like the bonehead base running mistake in Monday's win over the Royals.
Lindor started the inning with a hit, and then when Carlos Santana hit one into the gap, Royals Adalberto Mondesi pretended to be turning a double play as Lindor got to second.
Duped, Lindor then strolled to third - but in the process didn't touch second base, and was out on the appeal by the Royals.
It's those types of plays that have Tribe fans truly wondering if Lindor is playing with his mind on other things - like this offseason when the Indians are again very likely to put him on the market for a deal.
Last season one team whose name kept popping up, and very much will again this offseason is that of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who some feel are truly the best team in baseball in 2020.
The Dodgers had a lot of interest in Lindor during the last offseason, but when the Indians kept upping their demands, Los Angeles finally turned their focus to Boston outfielder Mookie Betts, who is hitting .310 with 13 homers and 32 RBI and got a massive extension from Los Angeles during the season.
Los Angeles is a market that can afford to pay Lindor despite paying Betts, and if they want Lindor they can dangle players at the Tribe knowing they have a big deal in hand when Lindor puts on Dodger blue.
As has been pointed out, Corey Seager is already a pretty good shortstop for the Dodgers, but there's been rumblings that the team may want to move him eventually to third, and that would make sense if Lindor joins the Dodgers.
Seager is another upcoming free agent, set to hit the market in 2021, so while the Dodgers would want to keep him, they might let him walk if they can strike a deal with the Indians for Lindor.
One player that the Indians still have their eyes on from the Dodgers reportedly is infielder Gavin Lux. The 22-year-old was a Dodgers first-round pick in 2016, but has struggled at the plate in 2020, hitting just .219 in nine games.
He was even sent to the team's alternate training site at one point in this shortened 60-game season.
The big question with Lindor is what will the Dodgers be willing to give up, and will it be enough to satisfy the Indians to make the deal this time around?
Time is running out as Lindor is only beholden to the Indians for another season, and all indications are unless something drastic happens, his time in Cleveland is drawing towards a close.
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