The champagne hasn’t dried in the visitors clubhouse at Minute Maid Park, but rumors are already spreading. So while the Nationals are are awaiting their first World Series parade, all 29 other teams are thinking about the offseason.
A couple days ago, a source stirred up Dodger twitter by saying that the Dodgers will pursue a trade for Cleveland Indians’ shortstop Francisco Lindor.
While at first glance many will balk at the idea of trading for another shortstop, this potential move could make sense for both sides.
The Indians are in trouble, as a small market ball club, they have to keep their payroll low. But many of their stars are hitting their second or third arbitration years. As a result, Cleveland cannot afford to pay everyone.
Lindor, 25 years old, will make $16.7 M in 2020, then is eligible for his third and final year of arbitration in 2021. With all the problems the Indians had in 2019, it doesn’t make sense for them to keep Lindor when they can’t afford to put a good team on the field.
What about the Dodgers? Don’t they already have a shortstop? Do they really have room for Lindor? The answer to all of these is yes.
As Justin Turner ages, his bat is staying solid, but his field is declining. The Dodger can move Turner to first base and keep his bat in the lineup, while getting a younger glove in the hot corner.
With turner at first base, the Dodgers should move Corey Seager to third base. Scouts’ fears that Seager is too big to play shortstop have been recognized as Seager’s been unable to stay on the field. Moving him will hopefully keep him healthy and improve defense at the Hot Corner.
This leaves room for Lindor at shortstop. Lindor brings a solid bat, amazing glove, and fantastic personality to the Dodgers.
The Dodgers needed a right-handed power bat last year, and Lindor could help fix that. The switch hitter slashed .284/.335/.518 with 32 homers, 40 doubles, and 22 stolen bases.
Now imagine Lindor leading off games with Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger batting 3rd and 4th. Or what if Chris Taylor led off, then Lindor, Turner, and Bellinger. Follow that with some order of A.J. Pollock, Alex Verdugo, Gavin Lux, and Will Smith and this lineup looks really deep. And isn’t depth what the Dodgers want?
But although this sounds great, the realist in me realized this won’t happen. Trading for Lindor will cost the Dodgers a lot and we all know Andrew Friedman doesn’t give up prospects.
The Indians will likely ask for at least 3 of the Dodgers’ top 20 prospects. If they do this, I have no doubt that Andrew Friedman will walk away from the deal immediately.
But why? The time has come where the Dodgers must make a big move. Seven straight division titles means nothing if they can’t win the World Series. It’s time to all out and build a championship team.