2. Francisco Lindor
A stellar glove, 30-home run pop and a team-first attitude. There is nothing bad you can say about Francisco Lindor. It just isn’t the right time.
The best non-pitcher expected to hit the trade market, Lindor’s pending departure from the shores of Lake Erie will mark the end of an era for Cleveland Indians baseball, one that saw the team make its return to the World Series for the first time since 1997.
Alas, Lindor and crew couldn’t beat the destined 2016 Chicago Cubs, and their crushing defeat in Game 7 at Progressive Field seemed to curtail any momentum the club was building.
Lindor’s bat would be a welcome addition to the Blue Jays’ lineup, but where does he fit in defensively, both in the long and short term?
For starters, Lindor does not possess the utility needed for him to hop around the diamond Brock Holt style. He’s never played a game in the majors at any other position other than shortstop.
Neither has Bo Bichette. With seniority being what it is in the sporting world, it would likely be Bichette that would have to switch positions to accommodate Lindor, but we’ve seen first hand how difficult a position switch can be, with Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s adventures at first base being all too common last season.
Third base is technically open for the time being, but with Guerrero Jr. melting off the pounds, could he return to the hot corner to give it one last try?
And this is all to make no mention of Austin Martin, Jordan Groshans and Orelvis Martinez, three infielders who are top prospects in the Blue Jays organization. Would adding Lindor further delay their opportunity to get a crack at the big leagues?
Adding an infielder with utility could be a boon for the team, as Bichette hasn’t proven he can stay healthy and Guerrero Jr.’s spot in the lineup remains foggy. However, with Lindor’s positional singularity and the Blue Jays’ wealth of infield talent in the pipeline, it’s not the time to add a veteran shortstop.