As spring training draws closer and trade rumors continue to swirl around shortstop Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians president Chris Antonetti set the record straight on where the team expects the All-Star shortstop to be when the season begins.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Antonetti said his expectation remains that Lindor will be with the Indians when they take the field for Opening Day.
It would be unfortunate news for teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have made a strong push to acquire the star shortstop this offseason. However, Antonetti’s statement isn’t that surprising given the team certainly feels better about its payroll after trading Corey Kluber in December.
The 26-year-old shortstop is under contract for two more seasons and coming off his third consecutive year with 30-plus home runs and a .840-plus OPS. Paired with his Gold Glove-caliber defense, trading him away would be a sizable blow to this team’s chances of contending in 2020.
As of now, it appears unlikely that Lindor will be traded before the start of the season. If Cleveland starts the season slow and is realistically out of contention by July, perhaps then the team’s stance changes and they shop him to a contender before the trade deadline.