Indians president expects to keep Lindor through Opening Day
Field Level Mediaon
Having yet to receive a trade offer matching their desires, the Cleveland Indians expect to have shortstop Francisco Lindor on the roster when the regular season begins in late March.
"I still have every expectation that Francisco will be our shortstop Opening Day," president Chris Antonetti told reporters on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm more confident today in saying that, as more of the offseason has passed. But that's still our expectation."
A 26-year-old, four-time All-Star in five seasons in the majors, Lindor has been the subject of trade rumors for much of the offseason, as the Indians have been unable to sign him to a long-term contract. On Friday, he and the team will exchange arbitration figures for his 2020 salary, after he made $10.85 million in 2019.
Lindor is under contract through 2021, but with the likelihood he won't re-sign, Cleveland is expected to deal him at some point rather than lose him without compensation.
As he has previously, Antonetti declined to get into the details of trade offers the team has received.
"I don't think it's constructive to get into specifics on any individual player, on what trade conversations we've had or haven't had," he said. "I don't think that's fair to the player, and I'm also not sure it's most constructive for our dialogue with other teams."
Antonetti added that he "never had a different expectation" than starting the 2020 season with Lindor on the roster, but also reiterated, "We have a responsibility to be responsive to those teams when they engage with us."
Among teams to reportedly show interest this offseason have been the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds.
Lindor batted .284 with a .335 on-base percentage and .518 slugging percentage while hitting 32 homers and knocking in 74 runs in 143 games last season. He has a career slash line of .288/.347/.493 with 130 homers and 384 RBIs in 717 games.
He has won two Gold Glove Awards (2016, 2019) and two Silver Slugger Awards (2017, 2018) and finished in the top 10 of AL MVP voting three times (2016-2018).