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Jim Furtado
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Francisco Lindor Newsbeat

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Indians, Francisco Lindor ‘couldn’t come up with an agreement’ on new deal as focus turns to season

Francisco Lindor says he still wants to sign a long-term extension with the Indians but that it won’t happen in the near future.

In a story published by The Athletic on Monday, the four-time All-Star shortstop said the sides have suspended talks with Opening Day a little more than two weeks away.

“We had good conversations,” Lindor told The Athletic. “We couldn’t come up with an agreement. So we put that aside and let’s focus on winning.”

As always, my apologies for being unable to link to a pay-walled article.

Would that I could understand the nature of contract negotiations at the present time…..


QLE Posted: March 10, 2020 at 12:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: contracts, francisco lindor, indians

Thursday, March 05, 2020

It’s Time to Commit or Quit on Lindor

While the Brewers showed a disappointing inclination to cut costs this winter in a division that’s ripe for dominating, they didn’t disappoint when it came to their franchise player, Christian Yelich. Some of the team’s secondary talent, names like Eric Thames, Gio González, and Travis Shaw, were left to find richer pastures, but the Brewers made sure to lock up the services of the player who was truly indispensable. Yelich didn’t get Bryce Harper or Gerrit Cole money, but that was never in the cards with free agency years away, him hitting the market in his 30s, and coming off a significant injury. My colleague Jay Jaffe has smithed up many additional words on Yelich which you should go read now.

When seeing the Brewers close a long-term pact with their superstar, it’s not hard to contrast it with the behavior of the Cleveland Indians. A team with a larger market but worse attendance, the Indians were very close to the Brewers in revenue in the most recent Forbes estimates, with $282 million in revenue compared to $288 million for the Brew Crew. There’s some give and take in these numbers with baseball’s books not being open for all to peruse, but the figures probably aren’t that far off the mark. After all, compared to companies in other industries with similar revenues, baseball teams are relatively simple corporations. The big-ticket revenues and costs are in fact quite well-known, so there’s only so far these numbers can miss.

My fellow FanGraphier Craig Edwards convincingly argued last week that the question of the Indians being able to afford to extend Francisco Lindor a new contract is more a question of willingness than ability.

It’s always useful to know what kinds of numbers we’re talking about, so let’s whip up a projection and ballpark what Lindor’s future looks like. It seems a waste to have a projection system just hanging around and then not use it!

A few remarks on one of the lingering stories of the off-season, and one that seems likely to last as one for a while more.


QLE Posted: March 05, 2020 at 04:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco lindor, indians

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Can Cleveland Afford Francisco Lindor?

I think it’s fair to say that the city of Cleveland has an image problem. I don’t know how far back this issue goes, but they’ve been late-night joke fodder for as long as I can remember. I suppose flyover country plus rust belt plus the depiction of the city and baseball team in the movie Major League adds up to a less-than-stellar perception of the city. That attitude often transfers over to the baseball club, particularly in terms of what the team can and cannot do when it comes to spending. This perception is central to the debate about whether the Cleveland baseball club can afford a massive contract extension for Francisco Lindor. However, perception isn’t always reality.

There are two principal arguments against Cleveland offering a big contract to Lindor. The first is that Cleveland is too small of a market with meager revenues, and signing Lindor would push payroll too high. The second is an offshoot of the first: If Cleveland were to sign Lindor to a huge contract, they would have their ability to compete constrained because Lindor would cost too much to keep payroll in line with typical levels. Both arguments are worth exploring.

Last season, Forbes ranked Cleveland 25th among franchises for valuation purposes at $1.15 billion. Twenty-fifth place feels pretty close to 30th, and it’s true that Cleveland’s valuation by Forbes was just $150 million higher than the last-place Marlins. It’s also true that Cleveland is closer to 18th-ranked Arizona Diamondbacks than they are to Miami. Cleveland’s market certainly isn’t the biggest in baseball, but it has close to the same number of households as Denver and is significantly ahead of places like St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, San Diego, Cincinnati, Kansas City, and Milwaukee. It’s not just market size and valuation where Cleveland is closer to a middle-of-the-pack team than a cellar-dweller.

When it comes to attendance, Cleveland has been in the bottom third for the past three years, but again, they are closer to the middle of the pack than the bottom. For the 2018 season, Forbes estimated Cleveland’s revenues amounted to $282 million, ranking 17th in the sport. The club’s local television contract isn’t one of the richest, coming in at between $40-50 million under a deal set to expire at the end of 2022, but it isn’t among the worst, either. Plus the team received more than $200 million when they sold the television network in 2012 (when the current television contract was created). Over the last decade, Cleveland has received television money in total that resembles something more like a mid-tier-to-nearly-upper-tier market. Cleveland might “feel” like a small-market team, and their success on the field over the past few decades with mostly homegrown stars and a smartly run front office probably contributes to that feeling, but they aren’t the A’s or Rays or Marlins. They have touted their own growth to the middle and have more in common with the Rockies, Diamondbacks, Padres, and Tigers than they do to the handful of teams with significantly lower revenues.

On the one hand, Cleveland didn’t seem that bad to me the time I visited- on the other hand, it was in the off-season for baseball…..


QLE Posted: February 26, 2020 at 01:18 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: cleveland, francisco lindor

Friday, February 21, 2020

Stark: How Francisco Lindor reminds us that baseball is broken – The Athletic

Is there anything right with the game? Does this situation really mean the sport is broken?

“Because everybody thinks Cleveland is a small-budget team, you know,” he says, calmly, analytically, thoughtfully. “And it’s just a matter of coming up with the right thing. That’s for my agent and the team to figure out, what’s the right thing. So everyone thinks it’s not going to happen because the Indians have always said, ‘We don’t have the money. We don’t have the money. We don’t have the money.’ So we’ll see.”

He says those words, “We’ll see,” because he can’t peer far enough over the horizon to know exactly how this saga will end. But he is a bright, perceptive man. So the one thing he can see with clarity is the big picture in his sport. And he has no trouble connecting the dots between that big picture and his own uncertain future.

OK then, does he think baseball is broken? If the Indians can’t find a way to sign him to a contract that keeps him in Cleveland and pays him what he is worth, does that say to him that baseball is broken?

“We’re running a bad business then,” he says, “because there’s money. There’s money out there. It’s an ($11-billion) industry.”

Oh, there’s money out there in the industry. That’s true. But what if most of that money doesn’t flow to a place like Cleveland?

“Then there’s something wrong,” he says, almost matter-of-factly. “And you can’t blame the fans.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2020 at 09:28 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco lindor



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