If the Indians trade Francisco Lindor, they should look to replace him immediately.
The Cleveland Indians, much like the Boston Red Sox in the year prior, are committed to trading away their game-changing star in shortstop Francisco Lindor for financial reasons despite the individual and team success the pair had last year.
As bad as this idea is, Cleveland wants to replace Lindor with a cheaper alternative, and these three shortstops are the best possible replacements the penny-pinching Indians can get.
These three replacements for Francisco Lindor could help Cleveland compete
SS New York Mets
The Mets have been mentioned frequently as a trade destination for Lindor given the new ownership and desire to shift into win-now mode. In any deal that sends Lindor to New York, Rosario would almost assuredly be one of the big pieces that the Mets send the other way. While Rosario, a former top prospect, hasn’t evolved into the offensive force most Met fans hoped he would, given his 91 OPS+, he still just 25 years old, and there is plenty of time for his offense to eventually match his slick glove in the field. Cleveland could give him a place to accentuate those talents.
While nowhere near the same tier as Lindor at the plate, Rosario is an average defender with the speed to replace Lindor on the basepaths. Cleveland has had a history of taking young players and discarded vets, eliminating their flaws, and turning them into viable position players. With Rosario in there next to Jose Ramirez on the left side of the diamond, the Indians won’t have an elite infield, but they could be good enough to help them scrape into the postseason if Rosario’s power finally develops.