Is Francisco Lindor Forcing Himself Out of Cleveland?

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Robin Lundberg: Cleveland Indians are facing a dilemma when it comes to star shortstop Francisco Lindor. For more, I'm joined by our baseball writer Matt Martel and Matt Loede of Cleveland baseball insider Matt Loda. I'll start with you. You know, Lindor has indicated he doesn't want to stay in Cleveland long term. So do you think they're forced to trade him, you know, sooner rather than later?

Matt Loede: I really don't think they have much of a choice in this matter. They're going to have to find a way to get some assets for him, and if they don't do it sooner rather than later, they're gonna run into problems in terms of the value for Francisco Lindor. He's one of the faces of the franchise. He's been one of the faces of the franchise in the last five years. But at the same time, he's already made it known to everybody that will listen, that he wants to be a free agent in 2022. So the Indians really have to do whatever they can. And in my opinion, they have to do it quickly in order to get him away from this organization. Find a way to repair the breaches that will happen with the public relations and find a way to get a bunch of assets because he's worth it. On the free-agent market, he's gonna make three to four hundred million. That's the early rumors that are out about Lindor. 

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Robin Lundberg: Now, Matt Martell, a lot of things can change between now and then and free agency doesn't necessarily mean you're leaving the team you're on. Well, how do you think the Indians should handle it?

Matt Martell: Well, I think that they should. I mean, it really depends on if they come back this year. I think if they don't play baseball at all this year or with fans this year, I think it's going to be tough to have them come back randomly and have Lindau not be the shortstop. Now, I do understand that they want to get something in return for him. But as you just said, Robin, that if he does test free agency, that doesn't necessarily mean he's not coming back. He probably won't be, because I doubt the Indians will pay him what he deserves to make in free agency. I think that if they do trade him, though, and yes, as Max said, they probably should try to get something in return for him before he leaves in free agency, assuming that he is. 

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They could potentially look to Oakland. Now, this might sound a little strange considering Marcus Simeon finished third in the MVP race this year and he will be a free agent at the end of this year, though. So if the A's do not bring him back and they are in contention, there have been known to kind of trade and get a rental return and give up pretty good prospects when they've done it with the Cubs. With the Cubs hey traded and got Jeff in 2014 on their way to the playoffs. They traded got Jon Lester as well. They gave up pretty good prospects in both of those deals. So if they think that it's their time to win now and there's no reason to think Oakland wouldn't be, that could be an interesting spot.

Robin Lundberg: Well, Lindor'sstatus will certainly be something to watch, especially if the baseball season can get underway. Guys, appreciate your time as always.