Yankees: MLB insider says NYY should pay Francisco Lindor instead of Aaron Judge
By Adam Weinrib
Ken Rosenthal thinks the Yankees should pay Francisco Lindor Aaron Judge’s money.
Analysts and fans alike have assigned Francisco Lindor to the Yankees long before his best friend Gio Urshela put on the pinstripes, but this may be a bridge too far.
Now, not only is Lindor earmarked for a future with the Yanks when his contract in Cleveland expires after the 2021 season (or sooner via trade), but MLB insider Ken Rosenthal is assigning the dollars intended for an Aaron Judge extension to the ebullient shortstop instead.
According to Rosenthal, the case for paying Lindor for his middle infield skills and his electric smile might be more appealing to the Yankees than extending Judge, if he continues to display signs of injury breakdown.
And yes, he takes into account paying DJ LeMahieu, maintaining Gleyber Torres, and attempting to fit the pieces together as time marches on.
Any Lindor trade buzz that had surrounded the Yankees pre-pandemic has largely been put on hold — after all, why would the contending Indians trade their superstar cross-country during this stub of a season?
Whether you agree with it or not, Rosenthal’s argument hinges on Lindor hitting the market at a younger age than Judge (28), and displaying more durability, only missing 30 games in his MLB career.
Rosenthal seems to sour on Judge’s icon status in the Bronx as his injuries and dings pile up, too, which we’d say isn’t quite how we feel on the ground. He indicates the team has already locked up Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks long term, and maintains control of Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier through 2024. However, fans would much rather Stanton and Hicks be jettisoned before Judge is allowed to walk.
Additionally, the “LeMahieu-Torres-Lindor” problem can’t be as easily written off as Rosenthal attempts. LeMahieu is, in practice, the team’s most important offensive piece, a truly necessary lineup change-of-pace. Torres, whether you’re in love with his defense or not, is the future centerpiece of the roster. And why jettison Urshela?
Bringing in Lindor will be a huge departure from this very good team’s current roster construction, let alone paying him Aaron Judge’s money.
It’s an excellent fantasy, but these worries won’t be swept under the rug easily, and there are plenty of unsavory connotations to laying the bag at Lindor’s feet.