In his Saturday column for The Plain Dealer, Terry Pluto suggests that Indians shortstop prospect Francisco Lindor will likely begin the 2015 season at Triple-A Columbus because the team believes he needs some more work before getting a promotion. They did not bring Lindor up to the majors when rosters expanded in November.
With Lindor at Triple-A, Jose Ramirez should be expected to be the everyday shortstop along with Jason Kipnis at second base, and Mike Aviles backing up both middle infield positions.
Lindor, who turns 21 in two weeks, has consistently been rated among the game’s best prospects after the Indians took him in the first round (eighth overall) in the 2011 draft. The shortstop batted .273/.307/.388 in 180 plate appearances in his first taste of Triple-A competition following his promotion in July.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.