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Francisco Lindor: I want to be in Cleveland, bring championship to city

Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor 'wants to stay here in Cleveland' and 'win a championship for the city.'

CLEVELAND — Four-time American League All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor wants to remain with the Cleveland Indians.

Although there were trade rumors swirling throughout the offseason about Lindor, a Silver Slugger and multi-time Gold Glove Award winner, the 26-year-old shortstop wants to wear no other jersey than Cleveland’s during the 2020 season and beyond.

“My approach is winning here,” Lindor said after the first full squad workout of spring training in Goodyear, Arizona Monday. “I want to win here. I want to stay here in Cleveland. This is home. I’m not playing to get traded or put myself in a good spot to get traded for a numerous amount of players. I’m playing to win. I want to win here.

“We have a great group of guys in the clubhouse, great coaches, and I want to spend the whole year with them and win with them. I want to bring a championship to the city. That’s what I’m focusing on.”

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Lindor was drafted in the first round by the Indians in the 2011 MLB Draft out of high school and came up through the farm system, playing for Mahoning Valley, Lake County, Akron and Columbus before joining the big-league club midway through the 2015 season.

And should the right long-term offer come his way, Lindor is open to re-signing with the Indians.

“If the negotiations make sense, it’s going to happen,” Lindor said. “The team is not broke. The league is not broke. There’s money. If it makes sense for both sides, it’s going to happen. If not, it’s not going to happen.”

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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.

Lindor hit .284 with a split of .335/.518/.854 on-base, slugging and on-base-plus-slugging percentages in 2019.

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 hits, including 178 doubles, 15 triples and 130 home runs, with 384 runs batted in, 478 runs scored and 260 walks drawn against 455 strikeouts.

“I love it here,” Lindor said. “The people are great. The City of Cleveland has been nothing but good to me. Why would I want to leave? If we have a team in Puerto Rico, that’d be a little different. I’ll be saying, ‘I want to get out of Cleveland and go to Puerto Rico,’ but that’s not the case.”

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Lindor has led the Indians to the postseason in three of his first four full seasons with three AL Central Division championships, one American League pennant and the team’s first World Series appearance in 19 years when they came within one victory of winning it all in 2016.

“It’s going to be a fun season,” Lindor said. “It’s going to go back to our model, ‘Under the radar, and then, all of a sudden, everybody loves Cleveland.’ It’s going to be a good year. I’m excited. I can’t wait to show the world what we have in our city, and I’m looking forward to it.

“I love telling doubters to ‘shut up.’”

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