Cleveland is rumoured to “love the Idea” of acquiring Lourdes Gurriel Jr., but is he the only star player they have their eyes on in a potential Lindor trade?
According to Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com, Cleveland would “love to build a trade with Toronto with one of the players in return being Lourdes Gurriel Jr.” for Francisco Lindor.
This quote is exciting, as we’ve heard lots about the potential of Lindor joining the Jays for the last month and a half, but this comment is also a bit misleading, as it makes it seem like Cleveland is locked in on trading Lindor to the Jays, which I doubt they are.
I’m sure Cleveland would love to get Gurriel back for Lindor, and I don’t blame them, as Gurriel has established himself as one of the best left fielders in baseball and is on a super-cheap contract making 13.4 million dollars over the next three seasons. This is a price point that would fit well with Cleveland’s tight payroll and is part of the reason why Gurriel is so attractive to them.
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Though I’m sure they would love to acquire Gurriel in a Lindor trade, I’m sure they would also love to acquire Gleyber Torres from the Yankees, or Jeff McNeil from the Mets. What I’m saying is that every team who’s rumoured to be in on Lindor has elite big league talent that’s controllable, and just because Cleveland likes Gurriel Jr. doesn’t mean they’ve ruled out other teams from the mix.
From the Jays perspective there’s no way that they should be giving up Gurriel for one year of Lindor. Cleveland has no leverage as they’ve basically told the entire world that they have to trade Lindor by Opening Day next season because of financial implications from Covid 19. Giving up Gurriel Jr. would be bailing them out and giving them a really nice return for Lindor, when quite frankly they don’t deserve it.
If the Jays are able to work out an extension with Lindor prior to the trade it may make more sense to deal Gurriel Jr., but chances are you’ll be trading for Lindor as a rental and hoping you can keep him around long term, and I don’t think I’d want to give up a player of Gurriel Jr’s caliber for that.
If the Yankees, Mets or someone else wants to overpay for Lindor, let them, there are plenty of other free agents and trade options out there this offseason and depending on how things play out, we could have the chance to sign him next offseason.