In an attempt to lock down one of the game's best up-and-coming players, the Cleveland Indians were apparently prepared to flex their financial muscle.
Francisco Lindor, however, wasn't ready to settle just yet.
Before Opening Day, the Indians "dangled" a package worth around $100 million for the 23-year-old shortstop, a source told Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated.
Since his rookie season in 2015, Lindor has combined to hit .308/.360/.466 while contributing 11.9 WAR. According to FanGraphs, that means it would cost his team $94.9 million to replace his performance on the free-agent market - the ninth-highest such valuation over that time among major-league players.
A handful of teams are attempting to extend their young, controllable assets early in an attempt to wipe out their remaining arbitration years. Players then 26 and under such as Rougned Odor, Tim Anderson, Jose Ramirez, Stephen Piscotty, Carlos Martinez, and Wil Myers, to name a few, all signed extensions with their respective clubs.
Another tier of elite talents is opting to wait it out, presumably hoping to cash in later on as they continue to boost their value. Lindor's fellow Puerto Rican star Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa made headlines when his agent, Greg Genske, said his client would "never" sign an extension.
Lindor's representative, David Meter, has a softer stance than Genske on the topic of contract extensions.
"It's just one of those things we'll look at on a year-by-year basis. I don't think it's very productive to draw a line in the sand," Meter said.
Lindor is slated to earn $579,300 in 2017. He's arbitration eligible in 2019 and is under full team control until 2021. He'll become a free agent in 2022 if he doesn't sign an extension before then.