The Cleveland Indians now look exceedingly likely to lose Francisco Lindor to free agency at the end of the 2020 season, and the organization is trying to calm down fan reaction accordingly.
Lindor cut off negotiations with the Indians on Monday. Though things seem cordial between the player and the organization, Indians president Chris Antonetti said they could not make the numbers work, and it would be “hard” to keep Lindor in the market Cleveland is in.
Antonetti said the Indians made a “sincere and earnest effort” to keep Lindor, but “different and creative concepts” did not yield an agreement. Antonetti continued, via Jake Seiner of the Associated Press:
“Any team can afford one player individually. The question is can you afford an individual player and still build a championship team around him. And that’s ultimately the problem we’re trying to solve. And it’s really difficult in baseball’s economic system for teams in smaller markets to be able to do that.”
Lindor has made this outcome sound inevitable for a while now. He’s worth a huge sum of money, and the Indians aren’t willing to pay up. That means Lindor will probably be playing elsewhere in 2021.
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To qualify, the player had to play the majority of his games at shortstop for the season listed. The Arizona Diamondbacks have never had a shortstop make the All-Star Game.