One of the big name players whose name has been linked to trades this off-season is Cleveland Indians’ shortstop Francisco Lindor. Lindor will be entering his 5th season at age 26, but many around the baseball world do not see him gearing up in an Indians uniform.
Many teams around the league have been linked to Lindor, with reports saying the Dodgers are the most likely destination. But when you look at the additions and subtractions of the New York Yankees this off-season, Lindor in pinstripes kind of makes perfect sense. In this article I will give 5 reasons why the Yankees should trade for Lindor.
A Replacement for Didi
When Derek Jeter retired, many around the baseball world thought that whoever stepped in as short stop for the Yankees would never fill the shoes of The Captain. Didi Gregorius may not have had the same success as Jeter (who has?) but he sure made Yankee fans feel good about who was at the position.
While in pinstripes, Gregorius batted .269 with a .313 on-base percentage with 360 RBIs. More impressive than his offense was Didi’s defense. He was a walking web gem that had incredible range and great arm strength. During the 2019 season, Didi was out for half the year, and during that time, the Yankees saw the emergence of young Gio Urhsela.
Bringing in Francisco Lindor would give the Yankees a force at short stop that wants nothing more than to win. An infield with DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Gio Urshela, and Francisco Lindor would be considered one of the best in the league. And even though I love Didi and Gleyber…there’s really no comparison to Francisco Lindor.
Trading Andujar While They Can
You probably noticed that I left Miguel Andujar off of the projected infield just above. Reason being because to make this trade happen, Andujar has to be included in the deal. Miguel Andujar joined the Yankees in 2017 for 5 games. But the emergence of Andujar happened the year after when he batted .297 with 27 home runs and 92 RBIs. The future was bright for the young third baseman, who was unfortunately injured at the start of the 2019 season.
That bright future is now up in the air. Nobody really knows how Andujar will return from his shoulder surgery, and now is the time for the Yankees to strike while the iron is hot. Andujar may not have the same value as he would have had he not got hurt, but imagine his value if he returns and just can’t perform like he once could.
Putting Miguel Andujar in a trade package involving other top talent such as Clarke Schmidt, Albert Abreu, and/or (unfortunately) Devi Garcia would be all the Indians needed to get a great return for Lindor.
Keeping Gleyber at Second
Trading for Lindor would lock up the short stop position. As stated above, Miguel Andujar would have to be included in the deal, which would keep Gio Urshela at third, and would allow Gleyber Torres to continue playing the second base position.
Torres was a true short stop in the minor leagues, and came up to the majors as one. As it sits right now, Torres would make the move back to short stop, but if Lindor is on the roster, he could stay at second and continue the developments he made in 65 games at second this season.
Lindor is obviously a much better short stop than Torres, as Lindor has secured 2 Gold Gloves at the position, as well as 4 All-Star appearances and 2 Silver Slugger awards. Not to mention, it would pair Lindor up with his good friend Gio Urshela once again. The two were teammates in 2015 and 2017, and were said to have a really close friendship.
Getting Rid of Clint Frazier
I have to be honest. I really like Clint Frazier. One reason is because I saw him giving 150% at all times, no matter how many times he was sent down to the minors. Another reason, I like to see all my fellow gingers succeed. But the truth is, there’s no room for Frazier on this Yankees team.
Frazier is blocked at every outfield position with talents like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks in the lineup. Not to mention back in June when Frazier was sent down, he spoke on how he was “surprised” the move happened after the Yankees acquired Edwin Encarnacion.
That small interview seemed to really heat up talks that the Yankees should look to unload Fraizer while they can still get some value out of him. In 123 games in the majors, Fraizer batted .254, with a .308 on-base percentage. His defense may be a little shaky, as he committed 6 errors in 106 fielding appearances last year, but it’s nothing to the point where it cannot be fixed.
Locking Up World Series #28
The Yankees had one goal going into this off-season, and that goal was named Gerrit Cole. The former Astros ace signed with the Yankees on a huge 9-year $324M contract that shocked the baseball world. The Yankees now pair a dominate bullpen up with a rotation that looks very impressive on paper.
Pitching aside, the Yankees have been one of the best offensive teams for the past 3 seasons. It truly is a lineup that can beat you 1-9. Below, you will see the potential Opening Day starting lineup for the New York Yankees, free of current injuries that may bench certain players.
As you can see, it is a righty heavy lineup. The only left handed batter is a 36 year old Brett Gardner, and the only switch hitter is Aaron Hicks, who is expected to miss 8-10 months after Tommy John Surgery. Adding Francisco Lindor, a switch hitter, may not seem like much, but putting Lindor third to break up Judge and possibly Torres, would mean far more than you would expect.
Lindor would also add speed to the lineup, something the Yankees do not really have at the moment. The team ranked 24th in total stolen bases last year with just 55 total stolen bases. Lindor had 22 stolen bases in 2019, which was 16th in the entire league.
It may take a lot, and it may even take a third team to complete the deal. But I believe that the New York Yankees should definitely attempt to trade for Lindor. Cleveland may be asking for a lot, but what do you expect? They’re potentially trading away one of the leagues best short stops, who won’t be a free agent until the 2022 year. But adding Lindor, all but guarantees another parade taking place up Broadway.
Featured Photo – Elite Sports NY
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