Indians set a deadline for Francisco Lindor trade offers

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Yesterday we talked about how the Indians seem intent on trading two of their best players — each of whom are under team control, paid far less than their actual baseball value for at least two years — despite the fact that they should be considered contenders for the American League Central title.

I still don’t know why, other than a simple desire to clear more profit by spending less on players, the Indians would want to do this, but they are doing it. And, it would seem, they are doing it in a manner calculated to give them less of a return than they might otherwise be able to get. How? By placing an artificial deadline on offers for Lindor:

The Francisco Lindor talks appear to be reaching a critical stage.

The Indians are telling clubs interested in trading for Lindor that they want each team’s best and final offers so they can make an assessment over the weekend.

That’s Ken Rosenthal in The Athletic. Rosenthal quotes a source who, quite sensibly, notes that the Indians could probably get more for Lindor as the offseason goes on and teams are better-aware of their needs. For example, say you are in the market for Josh Donaldson and you’re one of the 29 teams who do not end up with him. A Lindor trade would also help shore up the left side of the infield and give you a middle-of-the-order bat, right? The Indians, however, appear to be in a dang hurry and cannot be bothered to wait for the market to come to them.

But like everyone says: when you have the chance to trade away an all-world shortstop with a big bat who is under team control at a bargain price when you’re a contender, you have to make that trade, every time, even if it means cutting off all your leverage. That’s just basic sense.