CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from Nov. 5, 2020.
In November, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported that the Cleveland Indians planned to trade Francisco Lindor in the upcoming offseason -- a sentiment that's since been shared across the baseball world.
To quote Judge Elihu Smails in Caddyshack, "well, we're waiting!"
More than two months after the 2020 World Series came to an end, Lindor remains a member of the Indians roster. And trade rumors regarding the 4-time All-Star shortstop haven't exactly been heating up during what's been a relatively stagnant MLB offseason to this point.
Appearing on Sportsnet 590's "Good Show" in Toronto on Monday, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal was asked about the recent rumblings regarding Lindor -- or lack thereof. In answering, Rosenthal explained that there are multiple reasons why Lindor currently remains in Cleveland.
"For sure the free agent thing is a factor in the Lindor conversation," Rosenthal said, alluding to the surplus of free agent shortstops on the market this offseason. "A team that gets shut out of the free agents, whether it's the [Blue] Jays, the Mets or some other team -- they might be more likely to give up prospects to get Lindor."
Rosenthal also noted that until Lindor -- who is entering his third season of arbitration -- knows what his salary will be in 2021, it's going to be difficult for the Indians to deal him elsewhere.
"The predictions have ranged from $17.5 million to $21.5 million. Those are big numbers, but they're much different numbers," Rosenthal said. "If it's on the low end, he's probably more likely to get traded. If it's on the high end, less likely. But I would expect his situation will become more clear once some of the bigger free agents start to sign."
As far as where Lindor will be dealt, some obvious suitors have emerged, but his ultimate trade value remains unclear. Pointing to the lackluster return the Chicago Cubs received when dealing pitcher Yu Darvish to the San Diego Padres last week, Rosenthal said that Cleveland may not get the haul many might expect it would for a player of Lindor's caliber.
"Teams are not willing right now to give up prospects, in part because of the financial uncertainty and the need to have younger, cheaper players," he said. "I don't know that Lindor now will command the price that he would have commanded at the [2020 trade] deadline or certainly in previous years."