Indians: Francisco Lindor explains what went wrong with contract talks in Cleveland

Francisco Lindor says “it was a good effort from both sides” in regards to his contract talks with the Indians.

It was a day Cleveland Indians fans dreaded since the end of the abbreviated 2020 MLB season … Francisco Lindor being traded away to save the Indians from financial hardship. More specifically, Lindor was a part of a six-player deal that sent him and teammate Carlos Carrasco to the New York Mets for a mixed bag of prospects.

Now that all the talk around the trade, including plenty of gossip that the Indians were “fleeced” in the deal has subsided, let’s talk about what Lindor says went wrong in his contract talks with his former team.

Lindor addressed the media via a live Zoom press conference on Monday, answering an array of questions from what the potential of his new team is to how far his negotiations with the Indians went.

In regards to Lindor’s contract talks with the Indians, he said they had diligent talks but nothing came to fruition.

“We talked and we gave our best effort from both sides,” he said. “They gave me their best and I gave them my absolute best, we were honest with each other – nothing happened.”

Despite the two sides not being able to come to an agreement on a deal, Lindor said there were no hard feelings whatsoever and that he is forever grateful for his time in Cleveland. Although Lindor’s contract negotiations went on for most of this offseason, he expressed on Monday’s call that working on a contract during the season is something he never did with the Indians.

“I’ve never negotiated a contract during the season, never, I’ve always said… before spring training – but once it gets to a point in spring training it’s time to enjoy the ride and focus on winning,” he said.

Lindor made it clear to reporters in the call that he is focused on winning, and always has been during the season, rather than focusing on a contract.

But when it came time for him to work with his agent and the Indians on a deal during the offseason the two sides just couldn’t find common ground.

During the call, Lindor mentioned the resources that the Mets have when it comes to money and players. He also mentioned the lack thereof in Cleveland.

“Cleveland is a great place, a great city, I love the fans, everybody in the organization,” he said. “But we all know the excitement that the Mets have right now and the resources that Steve (Cohen) wants to go after… that can only bring excitement to a player.

For a long time, I thought the Indians could hold on to me,” Lindor said. “It was just they didn’t come up with the number.”

Clearly, Lindor was looking for something in a contract that the Indians were not able to offer him. Although he mentioned his love of the city and organization multiple times during the Zoom call, the numbers just didn’t add up.

Despite the difficult contract talks, Lindor said he never really truly began thinking about his impending free agency until this offseason when he said the reality began creeping in as a deal didn’t get done.

During the call, Lindor said he was extremely excited about moving to the Mets organization backed by his large smile throughout his zoom call but he made it apparent that just because a deal didn’t get done in Cleveland doesn’t mean he won’t miss the city.

“I will miss the people, how they treated me, how they respected me. I’ll also miss my teammates,” he said. “That’s the downside of it.”

It’s no secret after Lindor’s Zoom call that a magic number couldn’t be reached. Both sides gave it their all but decided it would be best to start over.