CLEVELAND — Why hasn’t shortstop Francisco Lindor signed a long-term contract extension with the Cleveland Indians?
Well, the answer to that multi-million dollar question is simple for the four-time American League All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner.
“Because they haven’t offered me the right thing,” Lindor said during a press conference at Tribe Fest 2020 at the Huntington Cleveland Convention Center Saturday.
“The right amount hasn’t come up. The ideal money hasn’t come up for either parties.”
According to Lindor, there is plenty of money available to make a lucrative long-term extension a reality. It is just a matter of if the Indians want to spend it.
“There’s money out there,” Lindor said. “Our payroll was $127 million? Something like that. That’s money. Is it what the Indians are trying to do? Who knows? It’s different, but there’s money out there. There’s no team out there with a $10 million payroll.
“Is it the right time for the Indians? I don’t know. There’s money. It’s just a matter of, ‘Is it my plan right now to sign players?’”
Lindor had another great season in 2019, as he belted 32 home runs, 40 doubles and two triples with 74 runs batted in and 101 runs scored despite missing the first 19 games while working through calf and ankle injuries suffered in a preseason individual workout and spring training, respectively.
The 25-year old Lindor hit .284 with a split of .335/.518/.854 on-base, slugging and on-base-plus-slugging percentages in 2019.
Over 1,196.1 innings of work in 2019, Lindor registered 159 put-outs and 312 assists against 10 errors in 481 total chances. In addition to the .979 fielding percentage, Lindor combined to turn 68 double plays, both of which helped him earn the American League’s Rawlings Gold Glove Award at shortstop for the second time in four years.
“If they don’t think I can stay here because of the money situation, then I won’t be here, but I do want to be in Cleveland,” Lindor said. “I love the Cleveland Indians. I love the Cleveland fans. This city has grown on me a lot.”
In 2018, Lindor led the Indians with 183 hits and 42 doubles, was tied for third in triples, third in runs batted in and second with 38 home runs. Lindor set a club record for lead-off home runs, as he started nine games with round-trippers in 2018.
Through 717 games over his first four-plus years with the Indians, Lindor collected 835 hit1s, including 178 doubles, 15 triples and 130 home runs, with 384 runs batted in, 478 runs scored and 260 walks drawn against 455 strikeouts.
A four-time American League All-Star infielder and two-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, Lindor has a .288 career batting average with .347 on-base, .493 slugging and .840 on-base-plus-slugging percentages.
Currently, Lindor is in his second of three arbitration years on his contract and saw a considerable increase from the $10.55 million he made in 2019, as he signed a $17.5 million deal for 2020.
“I came up with very little money, and now, I’ve got some money,” Lindor said. “I’m in no rush. I’m too happy, too happy to worry about what I’ve got next year, two years from now. That’s not my job to worry about it. That’s why we all have agents. Let him lose his hair. I won’t lose my hair because I need to die it every, single year.”