"When somebody talks about a discount, I immediately say: If you were from … Cleveland and they offer you a job downtown, would you take less money because you're in Cleveland? No. No. Like, no. So discounts? No. That don't exist," Lindor told Jayson Stark of The Athletic.
The four-time All-Star, who's been the subject of trade rumors throughout the offseason, reiterated Monday he wants to stay with the Indians, according to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.
However, Lindor understands why many around baseball feel he might not be with the club at the end of the 2020 campaign, even though the team has made meaningful efforts to extend him.
"Because everybody thinks Cleveland is a small-budget team, you know" he said, according to Stark. "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."
Indians team president Chris Antonetti acknowledged the situation is more complex than it appears.
"If the sole criterion is, 'Keep Francisco Lindor an Indian,' that's not hard to solve," Antonetti said. "But to solve the problem, 'Keeping Francisco Lindor an Indian on a championship-caliber team,' that gets much more difficult, because to have a championship-caliber team, you need to make investments not just in one player but in a bunch of players."
Antonetti added there could be multiple ways Lindor's tenure in Cleveland plays out.
"Our first priority would be if we could find a way to extend Francisco's term here," Antonetti said, according to Gonzalez. "If that's not possible, then we have to look at alternate paths. And one of those paths is Francisco staying here 'til the end of his contract or term with us and leaving as a free agent. That could happen. That's happened with players here in the past.
"And there have been other situations in which we've traded them. It's really dependent upon a lot of factors that would play into those decisions. But our clear preference would be for him to be here beyond 2021."
The 26-year-old is scheduled to hit free agency following the 2021 campaign, and he could land a lucrative multi-year deal worth over $300 million.