With huge financial constraints hindering them, the Cleveland Indians traded Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco to the New York Mets for Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Josh Wolf and Isaiah Greene. On paper, this may appear to be a steal for the Mets, but the Indians are hopefully this move will vault them into contention.
It was no secret that the Indians were looking to trade Lindor, who will become a free agent at the end of the 2021 season. Lindor, a four-time All-Star, hit over 30 home runs three consecutive seasons and had 13 doubles, 8 home runs and 27 RBI in 60 games last season. Unable to keep up with the larger markets, trading Lindor and Carrasco dumped nearly $30 million off the payroll.
From the Mets perspective, the acquisition of Lindor is a grand slam and another top move from new owner Steven Cohen, who is looking to vault the Mets from 26-34 last year into competition with the Braves for top spot in the NL East.
In addition to obtaining an All-Star and Gold Glove winner at shortstop, the Mets have improved their pitching staff with Carrasco, who have beaten leukemia to become one of the most solid starting pitchers in the league. Entering the 2021 season, Carrasco has 88 wins and a 3.73 ERA. Last season, Carrasco posted a 2.91 ERA with 82 strikeouts in 68 innings.
For the Indians, giving up Carrasco was easier than Lindor since the team is loaded with young talent on the pitching staff, including Shane Bieber, who won the Cy Young Award last season.
Replacing Lindor is another matter. Yu Chang was the backup last season and he hit just .182 (2-for-11) in ten games. Amed Rosario, picked up in the trade will move into the starting lineup at shortstop. Rosario hit .252 with four home runs in 143 at-bats last season.
It appears that this deal was in the making for quite some time, as the Indians put it out there that Lindor was available for the right compensation. The finances just didn’t dictate any way to keep Lindor.
While two fan favorites are leaving Cleveland, the team believes it can compete for years to come by adding some young players in the trade and freeing up payroll to acquire top free agents in the future. For the Mets, the time to win is now. I believe both teams came out winners in this deal. Time will tell!