Dodgers: Yu Darvish trade should change views on Francisco Lindor cost

Adam Weinrib
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 29: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians stands on first base after getting a hit against the Oakland Athletics during their exhibition game at Las Vegas Ballpark on February 29, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Athletics defeated the Indians 8-6. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 29: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians stands on first base after getting a hit against the Oakland Athletics during their exhibition game at Las Vegas Ballpark on February 29, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Athletics defeated the Indians 8-6. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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Francisco Lindor really won’t cost the Dodgers much, based on the Yu Darvish trade.

Are the Dodgers employing the right methodology with the wrong execution, as their DJ LeMahieu overtures reportedly have become reality?

Yes, the team should be shooting for the stars. But is a five-year commitment to LeMahieu, and a three-year deal for Turner, wiser than just rolling the dice for 2021 and adding Francisco Lindor on a one-year audition?

Especially since those dice might not be that heavily weighted after all?

Based on the return the Padres just surrendered for control of Yu Darvish on a reasonable contract, a star like Lindor should command even less in trade for just one year of his services than most of us have theorized in recent weeks. In that case, the Dodgers could simply add Lindor at a discount, shift Corey Seager over to second base for one year only, and see where 2021 takes them, operating from a monstrous position of power.

In case you need a refresher (and when it comes to the Padres, it might be safer to cover your ears), Darvish and his personal catcher Victor Caratini cost only middling starter Zach Davies and a collection of teenagers, who ranked 11th, 13th, 15th and 16th on San Diego’s top prospect list.

I know what you’re thinking: the Cubs are in a unique situation, pulling out all the stops to complete a fire sale of epic proportions. Well, aren’t the Indians the only other comparatively cheap team with excellent assets? Wouldn’t they consider the same, even for one arbitration year burden of Lindor’s money?

Forget, for a minute, the massive extension. Forget the future. Wouldn’t it be worth experimenting with one season of Lindor in Dodger Blue if the cost is going to be approximately minimal? If the Dodgers could gut the center of their farm system with potentially one young top-10 prospect attached? If the Dodgers could use only middling capital to figure out if Seager and Lindor might be able to coexist long-term?

If the commitment is this minuscule, Los Angeles might as well go for the splash, seeing as the ripples might not disturb anything else after all.

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