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According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Red Sox will instead focus on attempting to improve a pitching staff that was perhaps the worst in all of Major League Baseball last season.
Morosi noted that while there is a strong relationship between Lindor and newly hired Red Sox manager Alex Cora, the team “won’t prioritize” Lindor.
Ever since getting the call to the big leagues in 2015, Lindor has been one of the best shortstops in baseball. The 26-year-old is already a four-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger award winner, two-time Gold Glove award winner and one-time Platinum Glove award winner.
From 2017-19, he established himself as a top-flight power hitter as well with at least 33 home runs in each of those seasons.
For his career, Lindor boasts a .285 batting average with 138 homers, 411 RBI, 508 runs scored and 99 stolen bases.
The native of Puerto Rico is coming off a down season, although part of that can potentially be attributed to the unique circumstances of a campaign truncated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lindor appeared in all 60 games for the Indians last season, hitting .258 with eight home runs, 27 RBI, 30 runs and six steals.
Since Lindor can become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2021 season, it seems likely that the Indians will trade him before then. Lindor has been considered a trade candidate for Cleveland since before last season due to the belief that the Indians would be unwilling and unable to pay him what he’ll ask for.
Even though Lindor is coming off a tough season, his body of work suggests he will still land a massive contract, which means he should bring a strong trade return as well.
Acquiring a player of Lindor’s caliber would perhaps help Boston get back in the playoff mix after it finished with the third-worst record in the American League last season at 24-36, but the Red Sox have bigger needs.
For starters, they already have a two-time All-Star shortstop in Xander Bogaerts, who signed a six-year, $120 million extension last year.
Bogaerts is also coming off a better season than Lindor, as he hit .300 with 11 homers and 28 RBI as one of Boston’s lone bright spots.
If the Red Sox are going to get better and do so quickly, pitching must be the main focus. Boston had a 5.58 ERA last season, which was the second-worst in the AL ahead of only the Detroit Tigers.
The return of ace Chris Sale from Tommy John surgery could provide a huge lift, but relying on a pitcher fresh off major arm surgery to return to their previous level of play wouldn’t be wise.
Boston desperately needs to add more arms around Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi, and trading for Lindor could make it difficult for the Red Sox to do so.