Francisco Lindor says he's done talking about contract extension with Indians this season

Jack Baer
Writer

A contract extension for Cleveland Indians star Francisco Lindor won’t be coming this year.

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The shortstop said that contract negotiations with Cleveland have been suspended to focus on the upcoming season, according to The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd:

“We had good conversations. We couldn’t come up with an agreement,” Lindor told The Athletic. “So we put that aside and let’s focus on winning.”

Per The Athletic, Lindor had discussed an extension with the team during spring training, but the sides never came close to an agreement.

How much will Francisco Lindor make in free agency?

The Indians have two years of team control remaining before Lindor becomes a free agent, at which point he would likely command a contract in excess of $300 million. He’ll be hitting the market at 28 as possibly the best shortstop of his generation.

Lindor confirmed to The Athletic that Cleveland’s offer never came above $300 million and that he would not accept a deal similar to the nine-year, $215 million deal that Christian Yelich signed with the Milwaukee Brewers last week. While Yelich might be seen as a better player than Lindor, the former NL MVP is two years older, missed the end of last season with a fractured kneecap and was under contract on a team-friendly deal for one more year than Lindor.

From The Athletic:

“My agent knows my value, I know my value. But that’s something that’s a little more private,” Lindor said. “But I do know what’s fair for both sides. I’m very aware. I’ve studied it.”

Francisco Lindor wants to stay in Cleveland, but he also wants to be paid what he's worth. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Will Cleveland really let Lindor go?

If Lindor is really done talking about an extension until the end of the season, it could effectively ensure his days in Cleveland are numbered. It is rare to see stars on the level of Lindor sign an extension just one year from free agency, and that reality might mean Cleveland trades him to at least get something back for its best homegrown player in decades.

Lindor has reportedly maintained that he wants to stay in Cleveland, but isn’t going to take a discount to do so. Given how the Indians have discussed their finances, it seems Lindor would have to take a major discount to make it work.

When asked by The Athletic’s Zack Meisel about the possibility of a $300 million contract in Cleveland, team owner Paul Dolan had this to say:

“Probably the day when we do a deal like that is when somebody else is doing $1 billion deals with somebody else.”

The Indians have already slashed payroll over the last two years despite being contenders. If the team doesn’t accept what it takes to keep Lindor, it’s hard to see them changing their ways at this point.

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