CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from Feb. 12, 2021.
After nearly two years of speculation, the Cleveland Indians finally pulled the trigger, sending Francisco Lindor -- as well as Carlos Carrasco -- to the New York Mets in a blockbuster trade last month.
As a result, for the first time since 2015, the Indians enter a season not knowing who their primary starting shortstop will be. Let's take a look at some of the candidates:
One of four players Cleveland received in return for Lindor and Carrasco, Amed Rosario is the most pro-ready shortstop on the Indians' roster. Despite only being 25-years-old, the right-handed hitter has four seasons of Major League experience under his belt, including 41 starts at shortstop for the Mets during the 60-game 2020 season.
While Rosario also possesses the athleticism to play elsewhere in the field -- and may do so if need be -- he currently projects as Cleveland's starting shortstop against left-handed starting pitchers. Appearing in 46 total games last season, Rosario compiled a .252 batting average (.643 OPS), to go along with four home runs and 15 RBIs.
While Rosario might be the most Major League-ready player Cleveland received in the Lindor trade, Andres Gimenez possesses perhaps the highest upside. Entering 2020, the Gimenez ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the Mets organization and No. 84 prospects in all of baseball, according to MLB.com.
Last season, the 22-year-old left-handed hitter appeared in 49 games for the Mets, including 22 appearances at shortstop, 11 at second base and eight at third base. Assuming he begins the season at the Major League level, Gimenez will likely be the Indians' starting shortstop against right-handed pitchers.
Yu Chang has appeared Major League-ready for the better part of the past two seasons but playing time in the Indians' infield has been hard to find. But with Lindor no longer in town, that has now changed, paving a potential path to the starting lineup for Chang.
Over the course of 38 Major League games, the 25-year-old Chang has spent time at second base, shortstop and third base. While e currently projects as the Indians' likely utility infielder, he could find regular reps at shortstop against left-handed pitchers should Rosario's services be needed elsewhere.