Phillies: 5 shortstop candidates for 2021

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians advances to second base on a wild pitch against the New York Yankees in the fourth inning as Didi Gregorius #18 looks on at Progressive Field on August 6, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Yankees defeated the Indians 8-1. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians advances to second base on a wild pitch against the New York Yankees in the fourth inning as Didi Gregorius #18 looks on at Progressive Field on August 6, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Yankees defeated the Indians 8-1. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images) /
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DETROIT, MI – AUGUST 29: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians warms up to bat against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on August 29, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI – AUGUST 29: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians warms up to bat against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on August 29, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Francisco Lindor

After spending pretty much the entirety of this past offseason being linked to Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado, the Phillies may very well just turn their attention to a different superstar currently sitting on the trade block.

Rumors began swirling around Francisco Lindor’s future as a Cleveland Indian almost immediately following the conclusion of the 2019 season. Set to be free agent in 2022, Lindor and the Indians have yet to settle on a long term extension, despite the star shortstop clearly wanting one. Initially being linked primarily to the LA Dodgers, it became clear both Lindor and the Cleveland front office were at least open to the idea of a trade. Seeing as the Dodgers pushed all their chips in on Mookie Betts, it’s unlikely they’ll be in the running for Lindor as well, freeing him up for a team like the Phillies to jump in on.

The Phillies haven’t been shy with their intentions as an organization recently. After signing Bryce Harper to a record-breaking contract, the front office made it clear they planned on surrounding him with “blue chip” level talent. JT Realmuto was the first one, and now they’ll likely be looking to add another. Considering how hot the Bryant/Arenado rumors were this past winter, it’s no secret the Phillies have at least explored a blockbuster move like this in the past.

Lindor is arguably the best shortstop in all of baseball currently, and is coming off a monster few seasons in Cleveland. He’s been selected to four consecutive All-Star games, has won two Gold Gloves and two Silver Slugger awards, and is set to turn just 27 years old later this fall.

Adding Lindor to a Harper-Realmuto offensive core would be game changing. It would immediately give the Phillies one of the top offensive lineups in the league while having the ability to keep all three together for years to come. If John Middleton is willing to spend some of that “stupid money” again, and Matt Klentak is okay seeing Alec Bohm walk out the door, adding Lindor in 2021 would be a dream come true at the shortstop position.