In a long and winding off-season, the Dodgers have seemingly been in on every big free agent and big name available in trade talks without much actually happening. Whether it’s been Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Mookie Betts… or Francisco Lindor, Andrew Friedman and company have their sights set high when it comes to improving upon a 106-win team.
And now we learn that the Lindor talks may be in the endgame, or at least that’s what Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic is hearing.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) December 20, 2019
He reported as much on Thursday in an article and filled in any blanks on MLB Network’s Hot Stove program.
“[The Cleveland Indians] have asked teams for their best and final offers so they can make an assessment this weekend on just what they want to do. Now, does this mean Lindor will definitely be traded? No, it does not mean that. But certainly, there’s a lot of talk, there’s a lot of activity… we’ve heard the teams — the Reds, the Padres, the Dodgers prominent among them … I’m not sure which direction this is going in, I’m not even sure if this is a hard deadline, but this is where the talks stand right now.”
Of course, Los Angeles has been linked to Lindor all off-season. At times the deal reportedly has only involved Frankie, but it’s also revolved around pitchers Corey Kluber — since traded to Texas — and Mike Clevinger, whom the Dodgers are very high on. Trade packages have often centered around LA’s Minor League Player of the Year Gavin Lux, who has reportedly been labeled as mostly untouchable by Andrew Friedman.
So as the Indians seemly appear to be pushing the gas pedal in trying to accelerate trade talks, Rosenthal hears from at least one MLB executive who feels that deal before the new year doesn’t need to happen.
“I do think (the Indians) are trying to bring things to a rapid conclusion,” said one executive involved in the talks. “I’m not sure why they want to impose an artificial deadline when they may get a much better deal in January once teams have a clearer picture of what options they have.”
Rest assured that Andrew Friedman will play Cleveland’s game and submit an offer, but don’t expect him to succumb to the pressure of a rival executive. In the eyes of the LA front office, Francisco Lindor is a “nice to have, but not a need to have” player.