The Indians also had talks this spring with Lindor, and even reportedly tabled a lucrative contract offer, but nothing came to fruition.
“Maybe Brody can get the job done for us,” Dolan quipped at the end of Spring Training.
According to a report by Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci on Thursday, the Indians’ offer to Lindor during the spring was around $100 million, but the rising star turned down Cleveland’s proposal. There have been no indications that negotiations have continued into the season.
The Indians have the 23-year-old Lindor under contractual control through the 2021 season. The shortstop will not be eligible for arbitration until 2019, putting him on target to hit the open market ahead of his age-28 season in ’22.
Near the end of Spring Training, the Indians signed Ramirez to a five-year, $26 million extension that includes team options for 2022 and ’23. Earlier this month, Cleveland also signed catcher Roberto Perez to a four-year extension worth $9 million. Those signings gave the Indians 10 players on their Major League roster who have signed extensions either during or before their arbitration years.
It goes without saying that Lindor is a key component to Cleveland’s core group.
In 2015, Lindor broke onto the Major League scene and finished as the runner-up in American League Rookie of the Year Award voting. Last year, Lindor made his first All-Star team, picked up both Gold and Platinum Glove awards for his defense, and helped the Indians to an AL Central title and World Series berth.
This year, the shortstop is off to a blistering start. Through 15 games, Lindor has hit .328 with four homers, five doubles, one triple, 10 RBIs, 13 runs and a 1.039 OPS.
The Indians prefer not to hold contract talks during the season, but the team will surely look to revisit talks with Lindor down the road.
“It’s an approach that we’ve had for quite a number of years,” Chris Antonetti, the team’s president of baseball operations, said after signing Ramirez. “In some cases, players have chosen to proceed year to year, and in other cases, they have elected to pursue contracts. What we try to do is to frame alternatives for players to choose, because it’s a question of, ‘How do we share risk?'”
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.