Indians should go with Lindor

With defense key, Cleveland should deal Asdrubal Cabrera and ride the rookie

Updated: March 3, 2014, 11:36 AM ET
By Paul Swydan | ESPN Insider

Francisco Lindor Rob Tringali/Getty Images Francisco Lindor's defense at shortstop is a major upgrade over Asdrubal Cabrera's.

The Cleveland Indians enter spring training with a classic situation of an incumbent player being pushed by a top prospect. Asdrubal Cabrera is a former All-Star who has been the team's starting shortstop for the past five seasons. Francisco Lindor is a top prospect --  the No. 6 prospect in baseball, according to ESPN's Keith Law -- but is just 20 years old and has played only 21 games above Class A. The plan for Lindor will probably be to give him a half-season of playing time in the minors before even thinking about promoting him to the major league level. But there are more than a few reasons why pushing him to the big leagues for Opening Day and trading Cabrera is the right move for Cleveland.