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Report: Francisco Lindor turned down a $100 million extension offer

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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.

 

Indians sign Melvin Upton Jr. to a minor league deal

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The Cleveland Indians have agreed to a minor league deal with outfielder Melvin Upton, Jr.

Upton, 33, battled a torn thumb ligament and a shoulder issue last season, limiting him to only 12 games with Triple-A Sacramento, the Giants’ affiliate. In those 12 games, he hit .244 with one double and one home run. Upton last played in the majors in 2016 with the Padres and Blue Jays with which he posted an aggregate .693 OPS.

Given the injuries suffered by Indians outfielders in the past couple of seasons it can’t hurt to have some options for organizational depth. If he has anything left in the tank, stash him on the bench or down in Columbus. If not, no harm done.