A lot of people are coming up with trade packages for Francisco Lindor. Yesterday, SNY modeled a trade based on what the Dodgers paid for Mookie Betts. Here’s an fWAR comparison of Betts and Lindor the last five years:
Betts – 3.0, 6.6, 10.4, 5.3, 8.3 = 33.6
Lindor – 1.7, 4.4, 7.6, 5.7, 5.5 = 24.9
It’s important to note that Lindor is over a year younger and plays a tougher position. But we’ve seen Betts be the best player on two teams that won the World Series.
If we multiply Lindor’s 2020 fWAR total by 2.7 we see he played at a 4.6 clip. So, in four of the last five years, his play has been between 4.4 and 5.7 which is really good, but again it’s not as good as Betts. Leaving out his MVP season of 2018, Betts has been between 5.3 and 8.3 in four of the last five years. Betts has three seasons in the last five better than Lindor’s best. When forecasts come out for 2021, we should expect to see Betts be valued somewhere around 2.5 fWAR higher than Lindor.
To be clear, Lindor would be a big upgrade over what the Mets used at SS in 2020. The question is if you want to pay market rate to acquire that upgrade and then pay market rate in salary going forward. Maybe the answer is yes. But it doesn’t seem a slam dunk to me.