Fans who’ve been waiting impatiently for the Mets to make a big move can now exhale. Instead of signing one of the top free agents, the Mets instead turned to the trade market, acquiring shortstop Francisco Lindor and starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco from the Indians in exchange for infielders Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario, RHP prospect Josh Wolf and OF prospect Isaiah Greene.

While shortstop wasn’t a big hole for the Mets, there’s no doubt that Lindor is an upgrade on the position. While he’s not as good offensively as Mookie Betts, a player to whom he’s frequently compared, Lindor should be a consistent 4-5 fWAR player and those guys simply don’t grow on trees. Additionally, Lindor is an excellent defensive shortstop. This will be Lindor’s last season before free agency, although it’s tough to imagine that the Mets don’t have a strong idea of what it would take to lock him up long term.

Carrasco addresses a big hole in the rotation. He’s been an asset in the rotation for Cleveland in six of the past seven years, including 2020 when he posted a 2.91 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP in 68 innings during the shortened season. He’s on a team-friendly deal, too, under contract through the 2022 season, with a 2023 team option. Carrasco will make $12 million in both 2021 and 2022, while the option is for $14 million with a $3 million buyout. The only potential downside is that 2021 will be his age-34 season.

Gimenez and Rosario were essentially redundant with Lindor in the picture. The big surprise is that two highly-rated minor league prospects were included in the deal, after Alderson specifically said they would not proceed in this manner. It should be noted that both were selections of former GM Brodie Van Wagenen. Since Van Wagenen parted with a bunch of Alderson draft picks, it seems turnaround is fair play.

It’s not the direction I would have gone in but it seems like a fair deal on the surface

30 comments on “Mets set to trade for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco

  • neal

    Not a direction you would have gone in ?? Please expound

  • Brian Joura

    Lindor >>>>Gimenez

    But Lindor is about to get a $25 million salary and be 25X more expensive than Gimenez. It’s not how I would have allocated the money. Then there’s also the minor league prospects they gave up in the deal. Alderson was on record as saying they would prioritize free agency, since they had more money than prospects. That made sense to me.

    But it’s not like the Cano deal – which was immediate hatred. It’s a solid move. Just not one that I would have done if I was running the show.

    • Chris F

      I think we need to worry less about cost now. Lindor worth whatever. Hes on a borderline HoF arc. I think you add Springer at this point.

      Its not what I expected either, but theres no doubt, this team just got better, a lot better.

      Its a good time to be a Mets fan.

      • Brian Joura

        Worry less? Sure. Not consider cost at all? Can’t go quite that far.

    • TJ

      Brian,
      I was of your mindset in regards to the approach to this offseason. I do think the price paid was a tad high, given the potential lack of true suitors, but that is splitting hairs. The prospect pool is thin, but these two were lower top 10 and not the blue chippers, so for a 27 year old superstar, it is hard to pass up.

      Of course, the key is to extend Lindor, as the price paid is for control 2021 given his looming free agency in 2022. I have confidence that Cohen, Alderson, Porter, and gang are plenty bright enough to understand his cost and that cost impact on acquiring/retaining other players. Unlike the Cano deal, I vote thumbs up on this acquisition.

      • Steve S.

        I am all for this deal! The Mets kept Allan and Ginn (giving up the the lesser pitcher in Wolf), kept Mauricio, Alvarez, Baty, Crow-Armstrong (letting go of Greene), and more, with two shortstops who were not needed anymore traded. And they added a very good and much-needed starting pitcher in Carrasco!

        And they still can sign Springer and Hand.

  • HOF19

    Even Ian Rappaport (NFL only reporter) is reporting this trade…….Big News !!!!!…….Does Carrasco eliminate going after Bauer ?????……….Hope not ………Lets Go Mets !!!!!

  • Name

    I was trying to break up this trade.

    1 yr Lindor + (first rights to extension or 2022 late first round pick) for Rosario + Josh Wolf
    Carrasco for Gimenez + Greene

    First part is an absolute steal for me as i’ve soured on Rosario. Guess the Indians figured they would rather roll the dice with him than a future draft pick
    Second one seems fair to me but given that SP have done quite well in the 2020 FA market this one could easily be viewed as weighted towards the Mets as well.

    Sooo…. does Alderson finally notch a win under his belt in my eyes or does credit belong to Porter?

  • Remember1969

    I have been a proponent of adding Lindor for quite a while, but even with Carrasco, this price seems a bit steep, especially with what Brian pointed out that they want to rebuild the farm. I had read good things about Greene, and wanted them to move both Greene and Crow-Armstrong through the system.

    My guess is that this absolutely puts them out of the running for Bauer, and probably even Springer. I can see them do a flyer on Kluber/Paxton/Walker for $5-10M, but don’t see them paying Jake $36, Stro 19, Carrasco 12, Thor 10 and Bauer 20+ , especially with Matz on board for $5.2M.

    • TexasGusCC

      Greene reportedly has a weak arm and at 160lbs, needs to beef up quite a bit to add power. Yes, he can fly, but he’s a project.

      Wolf only has two plus pitches according to Baseball Prospectus and was looking like a possible long term reliever.

  • TexasGusCC

    My goodness! This was better than I hoped for! Now, the Mets can use Springer’s money to resign Lindor – as we wrote last week – or resign a younger Conforto. Sorry George… Now join J. T. Realmuto looking for a a team that will give you your dream contract.

    • Remember1969

      Yeah, Bradley instead of Springer could get real now. Let’s get a real defense. My biggest concern now is second base. I am just not convinced that McNeil is the right guy there with Lindor.

      • TexasGusCC

        This was exactly the scenario you first brought up last week. Also, Anderson said point blank that Smith isn’t a left fielder. So, there will be another guy added to move Nimmo to left field.

    • TJ

      Gus,
      I wouldn’t rule out Springer completely, although the likelihood diminishes. Now it can really be framed as a Springer or Conforto choice. When asked how the Mets would proceed this offseason, Alderson said he’s see how the market “evolved” based on this trade…to me, that means the Mets may still be players, but not at the current prices. I see the Mets having more options than Springer, which is a good place to be. I think their choice now is whether to add Springer, or add a lesser OF defender and bulk up the pitching more. If Springer’s price drops, adding him and waiting for pitching bargains in Feb makes sense. If Springer want to play the Realmuto game, go strong on a big pen arm or two and another SP option.

  • Woodrow

    Wow! Rosario has been a disappointment,Giminez you have to wonder about the bat and Greene and Wolff are lottery tickets, #s 9 and 10 in a just mediocre farm system. Not much of a payout for one year of Lindor who will surely be signed and for Carrasco a very good starter.

  • Mike W

    I think they will still sign Springer and they will let Conforto walk. We still have Mauricio. The question is, what do we do with all of those shortstops? Now we know.

    The question is, do they go with what we have for the rotation, or do they add one starter? No way it will be Bauer. Maybe they take a flyer on Kluber on a one year deal.

  • Mike W

    Don’t be surprised to see Conforto get traded while he has some value.

  • HOF19

    Thank You Gary Cohen !!!!!………On SNY Network Gary Cohen just said the Mets (as the roster stands today) really……..really need to get 1 more starting pitcher…….I totally Agree !!!!!……..Lets Go Mets !!!!!

    • HOF19

      And others SNY studio guys just agreed with Gary about the Mets need 1 more starting pitcher .

  • David Groveman

    So much for me to unpack, it might be what I write about for Monday.

    First blush: I like Carrasco a lot and always have and Lindor is not a Cano-type acquisition. What this comes down to is that I just lost two prospects i spent a lot of time on. Not Wolf or Greene, I mean Gimenez and Rosario. They aren’t prospects in the sense that they’ve ascended but that doesn’t factor the years I spent following both of them.

    Ultimately, the deal solidifies the rotation but leaves the same glaring question regarding centerfield. I don’t knownif they still have the money for Springer now that they’ve gone this route.

    The deGrom, Carrasco, Stroman, Peterson, Matz/Lugo rotation looks mighty good.

  • Metsense

    This trade checks off one box with Carrasco but they should sign another starting pitcher. Lindor will cost less than Springer in 2021. An extension should cost about $25m per year which is what Springer wants. This trade gives the Mets flexibility and strong position in bargaining. The free agent market for SS 2021 is flush, unlike the 2020 CF free agent market. The will get a draft choice if they don’t sign Lindor and can sign another free agent SS next winter. The Mets have approximately $25m to spend before the luxury tax. Pivot away from Springer to Bradley and a starting pitcher.

  • MattyMets

    Love love love this trade. Lindor is the best shortstop in baseball and will immediately be the best everyday player on our team. He’s not only super talented but charasmatic and fun. As A-Rod said, he’s the Steph Curry of MLB. Mets fans are gonna fall in love with him. He geeatly improves the infield and the lineup and will boost ticket and merch sales too, helping to offset his salary.

    Carrasco is a very good and reasonably priced pitcher who helps solidify our rotation. He’s also Lindor’s best friend for what it’s worth. As a bonus I think this rules out the vastly overrated headcase Bauer.

    I have no issue at all with what we gave up. My only concern is that the lineup is now too left-handed. If there is a DH, I’d still go for Springer, move Nimmo to left, Dom to first, Pete to DH. If no DH, I’d go for Kolton Wong, put McNeill at third, have Dom in left, and Nimmo in a CF platoon with a Marisnick type righty who can field. Jackie Bradley Jr, as a lefty is not a good option.

  • Brian Joura

    Friend of the site John Coppinger with a nice take on the deal

    https://thesportsdaily.com/2021/01/07/new-kids-in-town-mets-get-lindor-carrasco-m1d1/

    • TJ

      Thanks for the link, I enjoy his work. For those of us gray beards, the recap of the Carter deal is fun and relatable. I had a very similar reaction to dealing Hubie, who was home grown and an easy guy to root for. While being excited for obtaining Carter, I was a bit sad that Hubie would not be able to enjoy the upswing after being a contributor on bad teams.

    • Aging Bull

      Brian, thanks for sharing this link. I especially liked the long highlight reel of Lindor’s fielding. 10+ mins of amazing plays. He has great range in the hole and over the middle and has a strong, accurate arm. He may be the best Mets position player since Beltran. Where’s he going to hit? Cleveland had him leading off but I read somewhere they were dropping him to #3,

  • boomboom

    This is the only site where I’ve seen even lukewarm commentary. We just got one of the top 5 or 10 players in the league entering his prime, and filled a rotation slot with a high character, playoff tested vet who ZIPS is projecting to have the best ERA next season of the free agent types we were considering. Lindor is leaps and bounds better than either Rosario or Gimenez and Wolf/Green are years away, if they amount to anything. We are the Dodgers of East now – we don’t have to worry about high priced contracts. Lindor also balances the lineup as a switch hitter, is an elite defensive addition, and will compete with Nimmo was biggest smile on the team. There is nothing to not like about this deal. We went from being 8th or 9th in fangraphs WAR projections to 3rd overnight.

  • Remember1969

    In response to BoomBoom, I must admit that my first thoughts were “not Gimenez, and not Greene”, but in 24 hours, I have come to believe that the Mets absolutely stole those two from Cleveland. This trade was a huge success before anybody even steps on the field.

    I had a philosophy to not trade high draft picks before they had a good chance to show what they could do for the organization, but a player like Lindor, arguably one of the top 3? 5? definitely 10 players in MLB merits the exception and the Mets did exceptionally well.

    While I have been preaching to acquire Lindor all off season, I was hoping that they could obtain one of the younger Cleveland pitchers (Plesac, MacKenzie, or Civale) rather than 33 yr old Carrasco. In revisiting and reading everything about Cookie, I am now very happy with this acquisition.

    I am ready for the finishing touches and get spring training going. Hopefully that can happen on time in just over a month now.

    • boomboom

      I think the Carrasco signing will end up being very shrewd. He’ll provide veteran leadership and reminds me of bringing over a guy like Frank Viola. Lindor is the superstar but Carrasco has actually been a top 10 pitcher for the last 6 or 7 years.

      • Remember1969

        I agree

  • TexasGusCC

    As a finishing touch of Lindor news, from MLBTR tonight:

    “The Mets won the Francisco Lindor sweepstakes when they acquired the star shortstop from Cleveland in a blockbuster trade earlier this week. It turns out that the Blue Jays finished second in the derby, Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com reports. While Castrovince isn’t sure which other players were involved in the teams’ trade talks, the Blue Jays offered “what is probably a higher ceiling,” he writes. The problem for Toronto is that the prospects it put on the table weren’t that close to being ready for the majors, so Cleveland accepted an offer that it expects to be beneficial in both the short and long term.“
    ——————————-
    We were very lucky.

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