There’s no doubt that the Cleveland Indians are one of the brightest and youngest teams in baseball right now. However, owner Paul Dolan doesn’t appear to be optimisitc about keeping one of their stars for the long-term.
In a sit-down interview with Dolan, The Athletic’s Zack Meisel inquired about the strategy behind the Indians’ contract payout. Cleveland has been notably stingy in handing out large deals to players, as the biggest settlement they have ever dished out was Edwin Encarnacion’s $60 million back in early 2017. The Indians eventually traded Encarnacion last December to the Mariners.
“Probably the day we [hand out a $300 million contract] is when somebody else is doing $1 billion deals,” Dolan replied when asked about Cleveland’s reluctance in chasing high-caliber contracts. Dolan also noted that he had previously “never foresaw” engaging in the kind of deal Encarnacion commanded.
Obviously, this is concerning for Indians fans. Many of the Indians’ players are on less-expensive deals, but All-Star Francisco Lindor will require a contract that is currently out of Cleveland’s price range. The 25-year old will garner $10.6 million in 2019 and is eligible for arbitration through the 2021 season. However, free agency looms after that. Lindor, who owns career .288 average and has smashed 98 home runs in four years with the Indians, will attract many potential suitors if he were to hit the open market.
Dolan’s advice to those worried about Lindor’s future with the team didn’t do much to dispel fears of the shortstop’s departure.
“Enjoy him,” Dolan said. “We control him for three more years. Enjoy him and then we’ll see what happens.”
While this isn’t a definite sign that Indians plans to move on from Lindor, it certainly suggests that there is a clock ticking on the his time in Cleveland.
Cole Topham is the lead editor for snacktimefantasy.com and covers the MLB and NFL. He enjoys watching his opponents suffer as he defeats them week after week in his fantasy football/baseball leagues.