The Dodgers have Corey Seager. There’s no need to trade for Francisco Lindor.
Los Angeles Dodgers president Andrew Friedman is the king of making upgrades to the roster without getting fleeced in trades or dishing out prohibitive contracts, but perhaps it’s important to address the elephant in the room that is Francisco Lindor.
Trade rumors have linked the Dodgers to the Indians shortstop for quite some time now because everyone knew Cleveland would either opt to trade their star player or let him walk in free agency assuming they were at the height of contention in 2021 because they aren’t a franchise that hands out mammoth contracts.
Now, according to the latest reports (but we have to take anything from Bob Nightengale with a grain of salt), Lindor is on the trade block and the plan is to move him before Opening Day.
Now, before any Dodgers fans get excited about that, let us stop you and help you realize that any trade for Lindor is straight up pointless for the World Series champions. They already have a star shortstop in Corey Seager who is entering his final year of arbitration eligibility.
Trading for Lindor would mean LA has to surrender prospects AND sign him to a long-term extension, because what’s the point of acquiring him for one year? Additionally, they’d either have to trade Seager, who just won NLCS and World Series MVP, or move him to third base, which just seems like excessive roster tinkering that doesn’t need to happen.
Let’s quickly compare their numbers to prove our argument:
- Francisco Lindor: .285/.346/.488 with 508 runs scored, 138 home runs, 411 RBI and 99 stolen bases in 777 career games
- Corey Seager: .295/.362/.500 with 340 runs scored, 88 home runs, 307 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 541 career games
Lindor brings way more value on the defensive side of the ball (9.4 dWAR vs Seager’s 2.0 and 46 DRS vs Seager’s -5), but LA has been just fine with Seager at short and he showed marked improvement in 2020 after recovering from his 2018 Tommy John surgery. Surrendering what the Dodgers will have to for a defensive upgrade won’t be worth it.
The only logical scenario for the Dodgers is trading Seager for a stud pitcher and then making a deal for Lindor, but we highly doubt the front office is going to disrespect their star shortstop like that immediately after winning a title for the first time in 32 years.
Also, why not just sign Seager to an extension and keep your prospects or use them to acquire another player that would fit a more immediate roster need? All told, Seager is going to be cheaper than Lindor and the Dodgers already know what they have in him. He’s seemingly comfortable in LA and is a perfect complement to the future core that features Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger and Walker Buehler.
We’re not ruling out a Dodgers-Lindor trade, but laying out these key points is crucial in understand why it probably won’t happen.