A couple of weeks ago we got a report — from Brody Chernof, the six-year-old son of Indians’ general manager Mike Chernof — that the club and shortstop Francisco Lindor were in talks regarding a seven-year contract extension. Today we get a report — from the somewhat older Tom Verducci — that the Indians made an offer to Lindor in excess of $100 million. And Lindor turned it down.
Lindor is not even arbitration-eligible until after 2018, but in his first 271 games as a big leaguer he’s shown that he’s among the top talents in the game. He’s currently scheduled to hit free agency at age 28. If he merely maintains his current level of play he could double the offer he’s reportedly turned down. If he continues to improve — and he’s just 23, so it’s quite possible — he could get a deal that dwarfs it.
In an age when teams are increasingly locking up young players to club-friendly deals, it’s not often that you hear of a young talent saying no. But as Verducci’s story makes clear, there are a handful of young stars who could break the bank if they take the path to free agency players of the previous generation did. Lindor is one of them.