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