The Angels need pitching, but they absolutely could use Francisco Lindor.
Francisco Lindor is one of the best players in the league and inarguably one of the best shortstops in baseball. Players of this ilk do not become available at a high frequency and the Cleveland Indians will likely be fielding calls from lots of suitors this winter. Lindor will be just 27 years old at the start of the 2021 season and will be a free agent at the end of it all. In all likelihood, he will receive an enormous contract extension from whoever decides to trade for him. This begs the question of ‘Why can’t it be the Angels?’. The answer is that it actually can be. The Angels should be prioritizing impact pitching this winter, but with someone as impactful on a baseball game as Francisco Lindor available, the team would be mistaken if they thought they should pass.
Imagine an offensive core of Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Francisco Lindor, and Shohei Ohtani? That would be one of the best middle of the order punches in the entire league, if not the best. This doesn’t even factor in the supplementary pieces the Angels have around their current stars and the high ceiling of Jo Adell.
Francisco Lindor had a down season in 2020, posting just a 100 wRC+. We all know this isn’t what we should expect from Lindor going forward, but it might be good in terms of his trade value for other clubs. Given that the Indians are intent on trading him with whispers that he has actually requested to be dealt, the Angels would hold all the leverage.
Lindor is an excellent ballplayer that could mix in with the Angels’ long-term core and he could even brighten up a very silent led clubhouse. The Halos have the prospects to get it done and he would move the Angels from a solid team to potentially a bonafide contender. It also helps that the Angels just opened up a spot at shortstop with the likely departure of Andrelton Simmons.
Let’s take a look at six reasons why the Angels should pursue Francisco Lindor this winter.