The Indians may be attempting to work on an extension with rising star shortstop Francisco Lindor, but an agreement seems unlikely for now, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
The rumors of a Lindor extension were revealed Sunday by the 6-year-old son of Indians general manager Mike Chernoff during the team’s radio broadcast. Chernoff’s son said his father was “trying to get Lindor to play for seven more years.”
However, Rosenthal says the extension will not happen because Lindor “would be insane to sign any deal that A) fails to pay him elite salaries at each service level and B) forces him to forfeit free-agent years.” Lindor is eligible for arbitration in 2019 and is a free agent in 2022, when he will be 28.
Lindor had a breakout season last year in his second year with Cleveland, hitting .301/.358/.435 with 15 home runs, 78 RBI and 19 stolen bases. He was named an All-Star and a Gold Glove winner for the Tribe, who he helped reach the World Series.
In the postseason, he was one of the Indians’ most consistent hitters, batting .310/.355/.466. He shined the most in the ALCS against the Blue Jays and in the Fall Classic against the Cubs.
Against Toronto, he slashed .368/.400/.579 while notching a team-high seven hits, including a two-run homer that helped them win Game 1 by a 2-0 score. Against Chicago, he hit .296/.367/.333, but had eight hits, scored two runs and had two RBI.
It’s no surprise the Indians want to lock up Lindor for the future. They recently signed starting third baseman Jose Ramirez to a four-year extension and they have one of the best infields in baseball with Lindor, Ramirez, fellow All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis and veteran first baseman Carlos Santana.