The New York Mets have acquired all star shortstop Francisco Lindor along with pitcher Carlos Carrasco from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for young shortstops Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez as well as two prospects in Josh Wolf and Isaiah Greene. Lindor, a four time all star, two time silver slugger and two time gold glover, will be joining a Mets team looking to reach the postseason for the first time since 2016 as the now former Indian enters the final year of his contract.
The first big splash of the Steve Cohen era has come as after already filling team needs earlier this winter with catcher James McCann and RP Trevor May, the Mets now add an elite talent on both sides of the bat along with a veteran starting pitcher for the back end of the rotation. On paper, this looks like a steal for the Mets. They add another major threat at the plate to go with Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, J.D. Davis and Pete Alonso while addressing their massive defensive woes of the past few seasons. Lindor, who is just 27 years old, has been to the playoffs (and the World Series) and will bring even more veteran experience to what was already a very dangerous lineup. Coming off a 2020 season in which the switch hitting Lindor slowed down at the plate hitting just .258 with 8 home runs and 27 RBI, the former all star will be looking to bounce back and what better team or place to do it with than a team with a new owner and looking to reshape its identity.
For the Indians, this trade was necessary as they couldn’t afford to extend Lindor when his contract expires at the end of the 2021 season. However, Cleveland does fill the new void at shortstop with two young options in Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez as well as a decent pitching prospect in Josh Wolf and outfielder Isaiah Greene, who were #9 and #10 on the Mets top 30 Pipeline Prospects respectively. Dealing Carrasco was also done in an effort to save money as the trade cuts down more than $30 million for next year’s payroll. The Indians seemingly undersold Lindor in this deal as while they did acquire two quality young shortstops, they could’ve gotten much better prospects than Josh Wolf and Isaiah Greene. With Lindor out of town, the Indians have seemingly taken themselves out of playoff contention in 2021 at least as the lineup loses one of its key pieces. It will be interesting to see what direction the Indians go in for the future as with less money but holes in the lineup and rotation, either a retool or full rebuild is likely in the works in Cleveland.
As of now, the winner of this trade is far and away the Mets. Acquiring arguably the best shortstop in baseball not only adds another big bat to an already formidable lineup, but Lindor’s glove is one of the best among middle infielders in baseball and will surely aid the Mets in their notorious defensive struggles. Getting Carrasco back is also a major win for New York as with Noah Syndergaard set to miss at least the first 6-8 weeks of the 2021 season, the 11 year veteran coming off a 12 start campaign with a 2.91 ERA is just another weapon in a fearsome rotation that already features an energetic Marcus Stroman and the best pitcher in baseball Jacob deGrom. With the acquisition of Lindor, the Mets will now be forced to dish out major money at the end of this season as both their new shortstop and star outfielder Michael Conforto are due for extensions at the end of the season. But if Steve Cohen was going to do this deal, he knows he will have to re-sign Lindor and will be able to give him all the money he wants. With this trade, the Mets have clearly made the statement that they are committed to winning now and with more money ready to be spent in Steve Cohen’s pockets, Flushing just became an even bigger attraction for big time free agents such as CF George Springer.
This trade for Mets fans has the feeling of a Mike Piazza or Yoenis Cespedes move. Not very often does this team make huge trades for bona fide superstars. If the Mets are able to sign Lindor to a long term extension, fill the hole in center field and get some more help in the bullpen, the Yankees little brother has the talent to be playing deep into October for years to come.
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