A lifelong Cleveland sports fan, I’m used to losing. Almost 29 years old, there’s been plenty of losing between the Browns, Cavaliers, and Indians throughout my life. While there has been plenty of good moments and winning, losing is the worst part, which all of us would likely agree on. Whether it’s losing a game or even a player, the heartbreak seems inevitable at times. In the end, it is Cleveland. There’s are a reason the “Only In Cleveland” statement exists. I mean this website is titled Waiting For Next Year for a reason.
So, not to be negative here, but in the next few months, there’s a chance that Odell Beckham Jr., Francisco Lindor, and Kevin Love all get traded and move on from their respective Cleveland teams. The fact that those rumors have even surfaced sucks, to be quite honest. Some of their team’s biggest stars, all three are players that Cleveland can count on, look at as stars, and realize that we are quite lucky to have players like them on our favorite teams. Yet, here we are.
First and foremost, we’ll start with OBJ. While I completely agree with our own Joe Gilbert that the Browns shouldn’t trade Odell yet, it might be inevitable in the end. And by “the end”, I mean this offseason. Whether it’s playing through the injury that he should have taken care of prior to the season or just not being happy because he is underutilized, there’s a chance OBJ just doesn’t like it in Cleveland and needs to be in a big city. Obviously, having one of the best receivers in the league and a star comes with a price tag, one that needs to be joined by winning. We’ve all realized what happens when the team is losing, but could it change if those Ws start happening more and more? We will just have to wait and see. No one knows besides OBJ himself, and we might not find out until he is either donning the orange and brown next season (and beyond) or is traded this offseason.
Then comes Love, the guy who has seemingly been involved in trade rumors since the movement he became a Cavalier. Not only did he help bring Cleveland its first major sports championship since 1964, but the big man has been a fan favorite in The Land ever since joining the wine and gold in 2014. Whether it’s his play on the court, what he has done off of it, or just the fact that he seems to want to be in Cleveland, it’s easy to like and root for a guy like Love. I’m in the corner that if he wants to continue to be with the Cavs even while not being good throughout the rebuilding process, keep him here. He can be a veteran leader and a player that will continue to put up numbers and help the younger players mature, improve, and develop their game. But, with that said, if he wants to be traded and join a contender, I completely understand that as well and the Cavs should respect that and do him a favor. So far, it has seemed as though he wants to stay in Cleveland, but for the first time that I can remember, his recent comments to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps makes it seem like he wants to be on a contender.
“Nothing’s changed,” Love told ESPN after Cleveland’s morning shootaround at TD Garden. “What I mean by that is, since I got here they’ve been … since I f—— got here there’s been talk of me being traded, so it’s nothing different. If they decide to go that way, I’ve just got to know it’s part of the business, or if we decide to go that way, it’s part of the business.”
“Truthfully, I don’t know how it’s going to play out, because I see both sides,” he added.
“I imagine, in a rebuild, it’s easy to look at it, especially when it’s down and out at this point, and say, ’Hey, we want to completely reset the deck and go young,’” Love told ESPN. “I understand that.
“But despite that, whether it’s five months or five years, I’m always going to be able to come back to Cleveland no matter what, and I’ll always love the fans, and be part of this organization, one way or another.”
To add to that, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor is reporting that if the Cavs were to trade Love, he would prefer to be traded to the Portland Trail Blazers. After growing up in Oregon, he would want to play for his hometown team. I mean, if that’s the case, I hope the Cavs find a way to make that happen. K-Love deserves that.
The day the Cavs possibly trade Love will be a tough one. With everything he has done both on and off the court, he’s a successful, high-class player and so easy to cheer for even though those trade rumors have been circling around him for nearly five years. I completely understand if he wants to be part of a winning team, but that wouldn’t make trading him any easier as a fan.
Last but certainly not least, Frankie Lindor leaving the Indians isn’t a matter of if, it’s only a matter of when which is what’s wrong with baseball. A market like Cleveland will always have a tough time keeping big-name players like Lindor simply because he will demand too much money, money that only the big, major markets have. There’s a reason when a star becomes a free agent, the list usually only includes New York, Los Angeles, and maybe a couple of others. It’s a baseball problem and unfortunately, there’s nothing any of us can do about it.
So, there lies the question: Should the Indians trade Lindor, get a ton back for him to hopefully extend the window or keep him the next two years, let him walk, and get nothing in return for the star leaving? The sooner they would trade him, the more they would acquire. It’s tough to pick a side here. Our own Michael Bode doesn’t want the Indians to trade Lindor. I want to enjoy Frankie on my favorite team for as long as I possibly can but I also understand that a team like the Indians should trade him because they need to restock their minor-league system and even get a player or two that can help immediately. It’s just that I hate the way the MLB is right now. It’s the only sport where you can legitimately guess where a big-name free agent will get signed simply because there’s only a few teams and markets that have that type of money. Either way, I”m going to enjoy Frankie for as long as I can because we all don’t know how long that will be, the only timeframe we are essentially given is that it won’t be longer than two more seasons.
Luckily, what happened the night of June 19, 2016, changed me as a sports fan, specifically for my beloved Cleveland teams. The Cavs winning the championship changed me for the better, whether it’s my mindset when it comes to sports and the outcomes of games or just the success of my teams overall. I’m so glad it did. While I still want plenty of success for my favorite teams, I look at the bigger picture now and losing doesn’t hurt as much as it used to because of that special night, one that I consider one of the best days of my life. I always want my favorite teams to be good and to have stars and really good players, but I can also take a step back and realize the type of market Cleveland is, one that makes it tough for big-time names to either come here in the first place or stay here. It is what it is because, truly, there’s nothing we can do about it. Just enjoy players like Frankie, K-Love, and OBJ while we have them. That’s all.