CLEVELAND — The price of doing business in free agency in Major League Baseball has reached a whole new level of steep.
Less than a month after Manny Machado ($300 million/10 years) and Bryce Harper ($330 million/13 years) signed their deals with the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies, respectively, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout set a new standard Tuesday.
Trout and the Angels came to terms on a 12-year, $430 million contract extension that will make him not only the recipient of the most valuable deal in MLB history, but also, the highest-paid player annually.
So, where does that leave the Cleveland Indians and superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor?
Well, speculation has begun that Lindor will not remain with the Indians through his arbitration years.
And fans are feeling less than optimistic that the Indians will be able to find the revenue necessary to retain the services of the All-Star shortstop.
Currently, Lindor is working himself back into playing shape.
While preparing in Orlando for spring training, Lindor suffered a right calf strain, and after the initial evaluation, the Indians’ medical staff said he would be able to return to game activity in seven to nine weeks.
Last season, 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 574 games over his first four years with the Indians, Lindor collected 665 hits, including 138 doubles, 13 triples and 98 home runs, with 310 runs batted in, 377 runs scored and 214 walks drawn against 357 strikeouts.
Additionally, Lindor stole 71 bases in 91 attempts.
A three-time American League All-Star infielder and back-to-back Silver Slugger Award winner among AL shortstops, Lindor has a .288 career batting average with .350 on-base, .487 slugging and .837 on-base-plus-slugging percentages.
“I think he knows he’s in a great position,” Indians manager Terry Francona said earlier this year in spring training. “He’s a great kid. He’s a great player. He’s going to be okay. He’s a smart kid. He knows his future’s pretty bright.”