This winter's Mookie Betts trade? Why Cleveland Indians are finally ready to deal Francisco Lindor

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The Francisco Lindor trade rumors have been more reliable than any train the last five years, arriving and departing on schedule every November, before the return trip leading up to the July 31 deadline. Because Lindor is a superstar and turned down the Indians' initial overture of $100 million in the spring of 2017, the assumption in the industry has long been that yes, there will be a day when Cleveland will cash in on the shortstop it drafted eighth overall in 2011.

The Indians talked with other teams in past years, choosing to keep Lindor and continue their general domination of the AL Central. But with Lindor now a year removed from free agency, a trade now finally seems inevitable, much in the way a Mookie Betts deal did at the outset of last offseason.

By all accounts from sources around baseball, the Indians are prepared to listen, aggressively. Cleveland needs to recoup value for Lindor before he walks away, just as it did with CC Sabathia (swapped for Michael Brantley), Cliff Lee (Carlos Carrasco), and Trevor Bauer (Franmil Reyes).