The New York Mets are taking action yet again, making a trade for Francisco Lindor on Thursday. The four-time all-star will fill a desperate hole in Steve Cohen’s squad. The Mets previously had Amed Rosario staffing shortstop, and in a word, he was bad. He was below league average both offensively and defensively last season. Although 2019 was a good season for Rosario, every other season has been poor. It will be interesting if Rosario can find that 2019 form or stay below average. This Francisco Lindor trade has been a long time coming, and I even predicted the details of the trade two months ago. Although the Indians needed to get rid of Lindor, they also dealt starter Carlos Carrasco. The Mets are the clear winners of this trade, as the Indians got mere pennies in return.
The Inferior Indians
The Indians were in desperate need of getting rid of their star shortstop. The Francisco Lindor trade was especially important because the Indians were able to at least get prospects and young guys for their soon-to-be free agent shortstop. I believe this trade would have been worth it if the package were just for Lindor. However, Cleveland dished out veteran starter Carlos Carrasco as well. Carrasco is getting old, but he can still pitch at an excellent level. Despite it being a shortened season, Carrasco had a sub-3 ERA, propelling the Indians to the playoffs. The Indians did what they needed to do, dishing Lindor for younger assets. Unfortunately, they also lost Carrasco, and the prospects they got in return are so unproven that their chances of even making the MLB are toss-ups.
As expected, the Indians got two replacement shortstops. We have already talked about Rosario, who has been poor, but luckily Andres Gimenez has more potential. Gimenez, who used to be one of the Mets’ top prospects, has many solid tools. He has already proved he can play at third, second, and shortstop, holding his own at all three. The shortstop will be a contact hitter with speed, and his swing shows that he knows his role. He did fine in his first MLB season, gathering Rookie of the Year votes.
The Indians also added RHP Josh Wolf and outfielder Isaiah Greene. Wolf was drafted one year ago, and Greene was drafted just this past year, both in the second round. Wolf is a skinny 6’2 pitcher who has developed an impressive fastball that can touch the mid-90s. His curveball pitch will be his punchout pitch, with a tough break. He has also displayed a changeup and slider at Perfect Game events, which he will need to progress if he wants to see success at the highest level. Wolf is still just 20 years old, with tons of room to improve both frame and ability. Wolf has pitched decent in rookie ball, with his outings coming in 1-2 inning stints.
Isaiah Greene may be the rawest prospect, with an impressive physique. Greene has blazing speed, and that athleticism will see him starring in centerfield. Greene is just 18, and he has plenty of time to mature. As of now, his lefty swing will see him in a leadoff role, but with strength improvements, we will see how that holds up. Greene, who was a Missouri commit, could develop into a Jacoby Ellsbury type player. His impressive speed will tear teams up on the bases, and the Mets are hoping he can add a little polish to his imposing physical attributes. I really like the pickup of Greene, but there is just not enough security in the four player-package to dish out a top-notch superstar such as Lindor.
Party in New York
Although the Indians are disappointed, the Mets are thrilled with their new shortstop and pitcher. There were multiple holes in the 2020 Mets roster, but Cohen’s first signings and the Francisco Lindor trade have patched them up in a hurry. James McCann has put a solid position in their lineup. Only two players in the Mets’ lineup last season hit below the league average OPS+, their shortstop and catcher. Francisco Lindor will immediately boost the offense. It will be a must that they resign him just like the Mookie Betts contract extension. If they only get Lindor for one year, this trade may not be worth it. However, their pitching staff needed help too, and they sure did get it.
Jacob DeGrom and David Peterson pitched phenomenal last season, and they will be the returning starters. Marcus Stroman was a very interesting pickup, but I loved it. He will be important if the Mets want any success in the long run, and adding Carlos Carrasco will only make that rotation stronger. The Mets’ top four are looking very talented, and Trevor Bauer is not out of the question. If we see Bauer head to the Mets, they might just overtake the Dodgers and Braves. Of course, the bullpen also saw improvement with the Trevor May signing.
The Trevor Bauer Race
The Francisco Lindor trade also impacts the rest of the league. The NL East and NL West are both going to be ultra-competitive, and I can’t wait to watch them. The Mets now needing to spend money on Lindor may lessen the chances of Bauer. They still may be able to get him, but I think this trade lessens their chances, which is okay. I am truly hoping that he goes to the Braves because it would be unbelievable to see the NL East. The Mets’ acquisition of Lindor was their best move yet, and they are stacked with firepower now. Look for the Mets to contend in 2021, and for at least one all-NY World Series by 2023.
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My Lindor prediction was almost spot on, but it’s not my only correct prediction. Check out some of my others here.