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Dodgers: How a Trade for Francisco Lindor Could Look

At the winter meetings, it’s time to get something done.



After everything being free-agent focused in the news cycle over the last few days, Jim Bowden over at The Athletic offered Dodgers fans an opportunity to revisit a trade concept from earlier in the winter.

A few weeks ago, Cleveland Indians’ star Francisco Lindor was the cock of the walk when it came to off-season targets for Los Angeles. And on paper — when doodling your potential 2020 Dodgers lineup — Frankie started to make a lot of sense.

However every trade comes with a price, and as we’ve seen recently, “experts” might not have a great knowledge of the Dodgers’ farm system when it comes to assessing return value in a transaction.

Now — finally — a reasonable looking trade scenario comes to us from (surprise) a former MLB General Manager. Yes, Jim Bowden took to task analyzing deals for all 30 clubs that would help make the upcoming Winter Meetings an exciting affair.

Here’s what he had to say about the Dodgers:

Trade shortstop Gavin Lux, outfielder Joc Pederson and right-handed pitcher Ross Stripling to the Indians in exchange for Francisco Lindor.

Lindor is one of the best overall players in baseball; he can hit for average and power and is an elite defender. Lindor has a Magic Johnson-caliber smile and would look great on LA billboards alongside Cody Bellinger. The price to get him would be steep, but worth it — especially since the Dodgers have the resources to sign him long-term.

Right off the bat, I do not hate this trade. Cleveland is only moving its star player if it gets back a player that could have star potential in the future. If any current young Dodger has that potential, it is Gavin Lux.

With Lux, yes the potential is there, but Lindor is already there now. The Dodgers are at a crossroads where no longer can they get away with waiting for the rookies to get them there. After back to back World Series losses, and a first-round playoff exit, the fan base is uneasy and unhappy. As much as people would love to see Gavin grow up in Los Angeles, he’s the perfect fit in a trade for an established star.

You know the numbers on Lindor (career .288/.347/.840 slash line while averaging 29 home runs per season). You also know that he’s coming up on free agency soon, and will be looking for an elite payday.

As Bowden noted, LA has the resources to sign him long term, easing the blow of losing someone that could be great and cheap for the next few years.

Could be.

Not to be forgotten, Bowden includes Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling in his trade package. With Joc, he’s already the subject of trade talks this winter. Moreover, he’s coming up on his final season of team control and there’s zero chance that the Dodgers make an attempt to re-sign him. And with him projected to earn about $8.5M in his final arbitration year, he’s very unlikely to be extended a $17.8M Qualifying Offer meaning you would lose him for nothing next off-season.

With Ross Stripling, as much as you’d hate to see him go, the guy deserves a chance to be in a starting rotation somewhere. As the Dodgers continue to manipulate him around the pitching staff — and Ross being forever the I’ll do whatever the team asks kind of guy — not only are they stunting his growth as a pitcher, they are also severely affecting his future earnings.

The unfortunate part of baseball is that you have to trade something of value to get something of value, and in this trade scenario, it’s a win-win for both sides.

NEXT: MLB Insider Ready to See Dodgers Go All-In

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

Comments

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  1. Nailed it. I made this prediction weeks ago. But I also included Seager. If Seager stays, then see him moving to third, too tall to play second. Of course all of this is just talk and if Jim Bowden is shoveling it, then I got assume there is BS involved at some point.

    • For me, I’ve got Seager at 3B too. Muncy plays 2B and JT is over at first. Hernandez will get some ABs at 2B while Max plays first and Turner gets a few more days off this season.

      Definitely agree with you about Bowden BSing a bit. He’s been the guy pushing this Lindor trade the most this winter… seems odd that he’d be so invested in the idea.

      Appreciate the commentary, Blue!

  2. Cleveland is not trading Lindor unless they are blown away and Friedman is not the guy that’s going to do that.

  3. Yeah, Bowden strikes again but his credibility is in question and by the nature of stuff he comes up with, and SoCalBum is correct when he noted, ‘no wonder why Bowden is no longer a GM.’

  4. Personally I would trade Joc, Maeda, Strip, Ruiz, Downs and Rios. The Indians would get 2 cheap controllable pitchers that are playoff tested. 2 power left handed bats to balance their lineup and our #3 and #5 prospects.

  5. Keep dreaming,Corey stays and Lindor will not wear dodger blue you can take that to the bank.Friedman’s not stupid to trade Corey for Lindor who will never be in the top 3 for mvp and Corey will soon very soon.Our players are better than Rendon,Lindor we won 106 games we just need for dumb Roberts to stop making mistakes.

  6. OK you get Lindo what do you do with Seger move him to second I don’t think he would be willing to do that. In stead of Lux trade Seager, Peterson Stripping and Ruiz. Let Lux work with Lindo and there’s your All-Star combo of next year and the future. Throw in Beaty and ask for Kluber even if you have to throw in a reliever.

  7. I say they almost have to make a big trade and with that you are going to have to give up top prospects. Lux is kinda of a prospect without a place to play as it seems the dodgers are going to either make a trade or acquire a Rendon/Donaldson to play 3rd, moving JT to 1b and Muncy to 2nd. Cleveland isn’t taking back Seager in this trade as it would leave them in the same place as they are now, Seager and Lindor free agency soon and top dollar being paid to both. I feel Lux/ Stripling/ Rios and Downs is completely fair for Lindor and maybe we are even giving up to much, considering he’s a FA after 2021.

  8. The big trade would need to be for a starting pitcher because I don’t see Stras or Cole signing a short term deal.I think any big moves on the infield will be next year with Turners contract done. Seager will be getting paid much less then Lindor over the next 2 years and I believe Seager will put up close to same numbers as Lindor which makes the trade pointless.

  9. Instead of Lux I would include Downs. Joc, Strippling, Downs, Rios, Taylor. Taylor can play SS til Downs is ready to take over. Rios gives them a power bat. Joc and Strippling give them cheaper MLB talent that can actually play and not just bums.

  10. I would rather they sign the RHB they truly need and that way a trade for Lindor would not be that necessary. With signing FA’s, that costs $$$ but not top prospects and Dodgers, whether they want to admit it or not DO HAVE THE DOLLAR CAPITAL to make these signings happen.

  11. I agree that Lux would have to be in the trade for Lindor. Being an Indians fan, I see the Indians asking for May instead of Strippling because of age and contract control. Also Verdugo instead of Pederson for the same reason. Thats just how the Indians are. Get young contract controlled players and then trade then before they would have to pay them. But a trade for Lindor would push the Dodgers over the top.

  12. Boy, if we could trade shortstop Gavin Lux, outfielder Joc Pederson and right-handed pitcher Ross Stripling to the Indians in exchange for Francisco Lindor, I would be ecstatic. After not making a move on any of the 3 marquee players this Winter Meeting, it is absolutely essential that the Dodgers make some moves, the pitching staff needs at least 1 more killer starter, Pederson, Lux, and Stripling are all expendable. Come on Dodgers, you have failed to act on probably 5 of the best 10 players in baseball, the past 2 years. Do something to soothe the failures of the past few years and get some damn players that can inject some excitement back into the Dodger’s lineup! We are sick of losing the World Series, do something!!! I’ve been watching the Dodgers for nearly 50 years and am sick of not winning the World Series, please make it happen!!!

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