New York: Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco are New York Mets and that caught everyone off guard Thursday after the team completed a six-player deal with the Cleveland Indians. Last week the names of George Springer and Trevor Bauer were more predominantly mentioned as possible free agent acquisitions that would fill needs for the Mets in the outfield and starting rotation.
But acquiring Lindor, for infielders Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez, along with pitching prospect Josh Wolf and outfielder prospect Isaiah Greene, is as good as it gets.
Lindor, a Latino Sports AL award recipient and a premiere shortstop in baseball, is an immediate upgrade. At 27-years of age, Lindor a four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner has averaged 34 home runs and a consistent .278 hitter.
Carrasco, 33, was the 2020 American League Comeback Player of the Year and recovered from a diagnosis of leukemia with a career 3.77 ERA and 88-73 record in 11 seasons.
So the Mets pulled another good offseason move. This one, though, also adds intrigue about Lindor who is a free agent after this season. The Mets have every intention of signing him to a long term deal that would solidify Lindor as their shortstop for years to come.
“Optimism of signing him and a lot of reasons why,” said Mets President Sandy Alderson about acquiring Lindor on a Zoom media conference call.
Alderson said Lindor was acquired for his ability and this was a deal that had been in the works. Regardless, it was one of those baseball deals in the works that was a surprise in that all rumors had the Mets as a possible team for Lindor but there appeared to be no movement The Mets were widely expected to be more active in signing free agents and not pursuing trades to enhance the roster.
“Lindor is that player that can make someone smile,” Alderson said.
Alderson mentioned the value and impact that Lindor will bring to the team. Also, Lindor will give the Mets the opportunity to explore other avenues via trades or signing one or more of the high profiled free agents on the market.
Springer, the Houston Astros All-Star and World Series MVP is not out of the question as one of those free agents. The Toronto Blue Jays have also come up in discussions about acquiring Springer.
The trade also propels the Mets as a legitimate favorite along with the Dodgers, Braves, and Padres in the National League. Earlier this offseason, the Mets signed catcher James McCann to a four-year $40 million deal and 31- year old right-hander Trevor May for their bullpen.
But this is a move for the Mets that signifies more as to a new philosophy that has been evident with billionaire owner Steve Cohen. He has put the trust in Alderson and GM Jared Porter as a part of the new look and respected front office.
The prospects that were sent to Cleveland, and from a consensus of baseball insiders, make this a winning trade for the Mets. In obtaining Rosario, the Indians get an everyday player who did not live up to expectations for the Mets as one of their top prospects the past few years.
Rosario lost his starting job this past season to Gimenez. At 22-years of age, Gimenez had a breakout 2020 season as a rookie batting .263 in 40 games and flashed a good glove in the infield.
It’s a deal that works well for both teams. The Mets emphasis will continue to upgrade in the bullpen, outfield, and possibly add another starter to join Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, and David Peterson.
Noah Syndergaard is expected back in the rotation by mid June after undergoing Tommy John surgery. And the Mets pulled off one of their most significant trades in franchise history going along with acquiring Mike Piazza and Johan Santana.
More importantly, they made more offseason noise and increased their chances of reaching the postseason this year.
Rich Mancuso: Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso
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