The Yankees might have to flip the script if the Blue Jays are aggressive in going after Francisco Lindor.
We’ve got more Francisco Lindor trade rumors! The general consensus among insiders seems to be the Cleveland Indians will trade their star shortstop before Opening Day, and the New York Yankees will seemingly be linked to a potential deal until Lindor officially finds himself in a new uniform.
Acquiring Lindor would create a lot of “problems” for the Yankees. We’ve talked about these endlessly. What happens with Gleyber Torres? Does he go back to second base and DJ LeMahieu is let go? Or does DJLM come back and Torres is moved? Or…do both of them stay, Torres goes to second, DJ goes to third, and Lindor takes over at short?
See, it’s not so easy.
But guess what? If the Toronto Blue Jays aggressively insert themselves into the trade discussions with the Indians, general manager Brian Cashman might not have a choice but to get involved and tilt the scales. The Yankees simply cannot have Lindor land in Toronto and form an even more intimidating core with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Nate Pearson and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Here’s what Jon Morosi of MLB.com wrote as it pertains to the Blue Jays and the Lindor trade buzz:
"“Toronto is an intriguing landing spot for Lindor, for reasons outlined recently by MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins were key leaders in the Indians’ front office when Lindor was drafted and developed there. In recent comments to Sportsnet.ca, Atkins did not explicitly rule out the possibility of moving star shortstop Bo Bichette to another position — at least temporarily — in order to acquire an elite player.“And the Blue Jays’ farm system is rich in position players, with Austin Martin or Jordan Groshans — the Nos. 2 and 3 prospects in the organization, according to MLB Pipeline — among the possibilities to go to Cleveland in a Lindor deal.”"
Yikes. The other scary part? The Blue Jays only have $77.8 million committed to their 2021 payroll. They can easily extend Lindor and not have it hinder them in the short- or long-term, especially with another $18 million coming off the books in 2022 when Tanner Roark and Travis Shaw leave town. An overwhelming majority of their players are of the pre-arbitration variety.
The Blue Jays are already expected to be a contending team for the next 5-7 years even without Lindor. Adding the four-time All-Star into the mix would only give the Yankees a bigger headache and provide yet another obstacle for their World Series aspirations. This is not really an option for New York. It cannot happen.
Cashman needs to have his ear to the ground in regards to these trade talks, because if the Blue Jays creep to the top of the Indians’ preferred list of partners, the Yankees will simply have to put together an offer Cleveland can’t refuse.
At this point, even if they aren’t considering a deal for Lindor, the Yankees should start talking about the preferred infield shift they want in the event he is acquired.