Francisco Lindor is one of the best young players in baseball and after just over 1 1/2 seasons in the MLB he has been offered a $100 million extension with the Indians.
Sounds good right?
Apparently not for Lindor, who turned down the big-money contract prior to opening day, according to SI.com. The shortstop, who is making $579,000 this season, apparently is a part of a growing number of young stars — Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa, Bryce Harper — who would rather wait until free agency rather than cash in with an early extension.
Thanks to a leak from Indians general manager Mike Chernof's son back in spring training, the Tribe was allegedly trying to sign Lindor to a seven-year extension. Now with every passing season the club doesn't make a deal, the price for Lindor will increase, assuming he continues to perform at an All-Star level.
Lindor, 23, who isn't even arbitration-eligible until after 2018, is off to a torrid .351/.415/.684 start with four homers and 10 RBIs through 14 games. Already a Gold Glove winner, Lindor could join an impressive list of free agents after the 2021 season if his asking price gets out of the Indians range.
Lindor, Bryant, Correa, Corey Seager, Addison Russell, and Kyle Schwarber could all demand upwards of $150 million when the time comes. It would be another free-agent wave of stars mirroring the 2019 class which, as of now, includes the likes of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Adam Jones, and potentially Clayton Kershaw and David Price, who have opt-out clauses.