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Lindor ends extension talks with Indians

@MandyBell02
March 9, 2020

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- When Francisco Lindor first addressed the media this spring about his future with the Indians, he was clear that he didn’t want any extension talks to continue after the first few weeks of March so that he could focus on the season. Now, it looks like all

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- When Francisco Lindor first addressed the media this spring about his future with the Indians, he was clear that he didn’t want any extension talks to continue after the first few weeks of March so that he could focus on the season. Now, it looks like all potential contract discussions have been tabled.

Lindor told Jason Lloyd of The Athletic on Monday that he’s officially ended negotiations with the Indians’ front office now that the regular season is just over two weeks away. Both the front office and Lindor have been transparent about their process this offseason but have been unable to reach an agreement.

“It’s a really hard situation,” team president Chris Antonetti said in February. “It’s not because of a lack of desire on our part or on Francisco’s part. But more when you look at the economics of baseball and the realities of building championship teams in a small market, it gets really tough. The interest is there. The desire is there, on both sides, to try to get something done. Whether or not that’s possible, we just don’t know.”

While the front office continues to weigh the possibility -- and reality --- of extending Lindor and the benefits of dealing him away, Lindor continues to be an open book about his situation, claiming that his preference is to remain in Cleveland.

“I love it here,” Lindor said last month. “I mean people are great. The city of Cleveland has been nothing but good to me. Why would I want to leave? ... I’m just enjoying the ride here. I’m blessed to be playing this game on a daily basis and to be able to call this my job, it doesn’t get any better than this.”

The Brewers locked up star outfielder Christian Yelich to a nine-year, $215 million deal recently, but Lindor is younger, has no injury history and plays a premium position. It will take more than that to get Lindor, who has said he does not believe in a hometown discount, to stay in Cleveland.

“To be honest, I think if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen,” Lindor said. “If the negotiations or whatever make sense, it’s going to happen. The team is not broke. The league is not broke. There’s money. However, if it makes sense for both sides, it’s going to happen. If not, it’s not going to happen. God has a plan. I believe in what he’s got for me and that’s it, man. Whether he wants me to be here in Cleveland or somewhere else ... I have shown how much I want to be here. So has the team. It’s a matter of things making sense.”

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.