Cardinals, if not Arenado, would Francisco Lindor come back into their picture
St. Louis Cardinals have been the hot MLB 'rumors' building momentum which involves Colorado Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado. Tremendous fielder and has a very strong bat. Both organizations have been in "preliminary" talks. Much to consider, which reported, his remaining $234 MM on his current seven year contract (signed Feb 2019) is not the issue for the Cardinals. They do have the payroll 'space' to absorb the monies owed. The player opt-out in 2021 is, but could be replaced with monetary compensation (allowed by the MLB). And, which players/prospects Cardinals would have to send to Mile High city in exchange. However, bottomline, with a 'no-trade clause' in Arenado's contract, he would have the final say.
To date there has been much written about his baseball abilities, so I'm not going to rehash what has already been reported. The latest report of continued speculation, "Cardinals emerging in Arenado talks (sources)", by Jon Paul Morosi, MLB.
Which brings me to my subject matter this morning, Cleveland Indians SS Francisco Lindor
LINDOR APPEAL ~ AND FOOD FOR THOUGHT
One of the high priorities on Cardinals shopping list this off-season has been to sign a very solid left-handed batter. Back in November 2019, Cardinals showed interest in Lindor, who is a switch hitter.
Lindor just turned 26 this past November. He made his debut with the Indians June 14, 2015. He has five seasons in the majors with the Indians in which he was the #2 RoY contender in 2015, is a four time All Star, four time MVP contender, two Golden Glove and two Silver Slugger awards in his young career.
In his five seasons with the AL team, he holds a career .288 BA/.347 OBP/.493 SLG/.840 OPS with a total of 130 HR/384 RBI/178-2B/15-3B and a 260-455/BB-SO ratio along with 93 stolen bases.
In 2019, he had a delayed season start due to a left calf strain/left ankle sprain which put him on the 10-Day IL during Indians Spring training. After 74 days, he was activated to begin his season on April 20. The Indians used Lindor as their designated hitter to ease him back into playing time. In his 143 games played, he held a slashline of .284/.335/.518/.854 with 32 HR/74 RBI and, obviously injury healed - logged 22 stolen bases.
This off-season, reported three days ago, Lindor was signed to a $17.5 MM/1 Yr contract. His second year of arbitration eligible, avoiding an arbitration hearing. The second highest this season for a player in his year two of AE. Earliest free agency for Lindor would be in 2022.
Also, as mentioned by Morosi, "IF" negotiations become firm between the Cardinals and the Indians regarding Lindor: "whose arrival would move DeJong to third base". Therefore, speculated 3B/utility Tommy Edman would remain a prime candidate for the outfield.
The Cardinals and Indians have been involved in trades over the years. "The Cardinals and Indians have a much longer history of trades, with six deals involving Major League players since the Mark DeRosa Trade Deadline deal in 2009."
SPECIAL 'LINDOR' NOTE
Cardinals are looking for a replacement as clean-up hitter for former Cardinals Marcell Ozuna. To have a solid bat behind Paul Goldschmidt.
Lindor batting order stats (2017-2019), his prime spot has been as lead-off. In the #1 spot, a .280 BA/.526 SLG (1505 AB), #2 spot, .270/.471 (374). A minimal at-bats at #3, but a .294/.588 (17) and in clean-up, a .286/.357 with only 14 AB.
Would he be able to support Paul Goldschmidt who will hold the #3 spot in Cardinals line-up? Being a switch-hitter and the competitor he is, I believe he would be a strong consideration.
And, coming from an American League team, how quickly would he acclimate to the National League? Transition from Indians to the Cardinals, I believe he would be a good fit. As much as Nolan Arenado. Cardinals can certainly cover his one year contract and, in my opinion, would extend that through 2022, minimum.
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