Francisco Lindor reportedly turned down a $100 million offer from Indians
The Indians are trying to lock up their franchise player, but $100 million apparently wasn't enough
A few weeks ago the six-year-old son of Indians general manager Mike Chernoff and told the world the team is trying to sign franchise shortstop Francisco Lindor to a long-term contract extension. It made perfect sense. Lindor is a great player and the Indians want to keep him as long as possible.
Now, according to Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, word comes the Indians did indeed make Lindor a substantial offer, one approaching $100 million. Lindor rejected it. From Verducci:
The Cleveland Indians tried to extend the contract of shortstop Francisco Lindor before Opening Day, but not even dangling what one source said was a package around $100 million did the trick.
Paul Hoynes, beat reporter extraordinaire for Cleveland.com, confirmed the Indians did make Lindor a substantial contract offer at some point, though it's unclear if it was worth nine figures. There are said to be no ongoing negotiations at this time.
While Lindor is clearly a $100 million player, players who sign long-term contracts at his service time level typically secure a much smaller payday. Lindor came into the season with one year and 113 days of service time. Players need six full years of service time to qualify for free agency, so the Indians still control Lindor through the 2021 season.
Here are the largest extensions signed by players with 1-2 years of service time:
- Andrelton Simmons: Seven years, $58 million.
- Christian Yelich: Seven years, $49.57 million plus one club option.
- Ryan Braun: Eight years, $45 million.
- Anthony Rizzo: Seven years, $41 million plus two club options.
- Gregory Polanco: Five years, $35 million plus two club options.
If the Indians did indeed offer Lindor a package approaching $100 million, they were willing to shatter the established norms and set an entirely new market. And chances are that $100 million was spread across eight or nine or 10 years, not seven like most of the contracts you see above.
Even though the Indians don't have to worry about Lindor qualifying for free agency for another few seasons, they surely want to get him signed long-term as soon as possible. The longer they wait, the more expensive he's going to get. That $100 million offer figures to look like a bargain in a year or two.
Lindor, 23, is hitting .351/.415/.684 (193 OPS+) with four home runs in 14 games this season.