Cleveland Indians president Chris Antonetti remains steadfast in his expectation that Francisco Lindor will be on the roster come Opening Day despite reports stating the team solicited final trade offers for the superstar shortstop in December.
"I have never had a different expectation other than Francisco will be our shortstop Opening Day," Antonetti said Wednesday, according to Mandy Bell of MLB.com. "That was my expectation as the season ended. That’s still my expectation as I’m sitting here today."
Regarding the trade rumors surrounding the club and its star, Antonetti asserted he has a duty to listen to offers.
"I can't control the conduct of other teams and them calling us with interest in wanting to explore things," Antonetti continued, per Bell. "As I've shared with you, we have a responsibility to be responsive to those teams when they engage with us. I can say we've had conversations on the majority of our major-league roster and a bunch of players in our minor-league system over the course of the offseason. The majority of those guys, other than just a couple, are still with us."
The state-rival Cincinnati Reds have reportedly shown interest in acquiring Lindor, while the Los Angeles Dodgers have been rumored as well. However, the Dodgers seem to be more focused on potentially acquiring Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox.
Lindor's name has been bandied about the rumor mill since it was reported in November that rival executives believed at least one of the Indians shortstop, Betts, or Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant would be dealt.
Cleveland's annual winter marketing tour - Tribe Fest - gets underway Feb. 1, and the team announced on Tuesday that Lindor will be on the roster for the event.
The four-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger managed an .854 OPS with 32 home runs and 22 stolen bases across 143 games in 2019. The 26-year-old is entering his second year of arbitration and is projected to earn $16.7 million next season, according to MLB Trade Rumors. Lindor will be eligible for free agency following the 2021 campaign.