As everyone knows by now, the Mets traded four players to Cleveland for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco. The Mets pick up a major upgrade at shortstop and a vital frontline starter for the next three years. While I didn’t consider upgrading from Gimenez to Lindor a necessary move (especially considering the money) there’s wisdom in making the trade when it comes to Carrasco. With Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman likely to leave after the season the Mets needed to acquire some backup for Jacob deGrom for 2021 and beyond.
My view as the minor league guy is always against trading prospects. I will forever bemoan the trading of Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn for Edwin Diaz and the steroid shell of Robinson Cano but, this is not that trade. Both Lindor and Carrasco are still at the height of their careers and proven players while Diaz was unproven and Cano was in unmitigated decline. So long as the Mets still sign an everyday center fielder so Brandon Nimmo can play in left field, this works for me.
Yet, with any trade, we have to sift through the information of who was sent away and the futures that might have been. Let’s wish the former Mets well in their baseball futures and hope their successes will come against teams outside of the Mets.
Amed Rosario, SS – The #1 Prospect
After following the Mets and their prospects for almost 20 years (which seems impossible) memory only recalls one Met prospect achieving the vaunted #1 spot on the MLB prospect rankings. Back in 2017 Rosario achieved that honor. Back then people had begun to sour on Dominic Smith and had (rightfully) given up on David Thompson, so Rosario seemed to be the greatest hope for a bright future.
The key to his ranking was in that his solid offensive numbers seemed to come along with excellent defense. Sadly, the defense seemed the part of his game that never came up from the minors. With just glimpses of greatness at the MLB level, Rosario is looked at as a disappointment but, perhaps he’ll get the last laugh at the fans who think his rankings were completely overblown. If he ever puts both parts of his game together, he has the talent to make good on that 2017 ranking and prove to be the “prize” of this deal for Cleveland.
Andres Gimenez, SS – Only 22 Years Old
At 22 most MLB prospects are still below AAA but Gimenez is not most MLB prospects. Gimenez has always seemed to play heads and tails above the level of the competition of other prospects his age. Many, including myself, doubted if his bat would hold up in the majors. Thanks to 2020, some of those doubts were erased and most Met fans were gearing up to see Gimenez manning the position for years to come. Few people expected the Mets to deal away a prospect that had successfully come up to the majors and who had so many years of team control remaining.
We, at Mets360 have been following Gimenez’ development since 2016 when the 17 year old burst into the DSL and performed well above expectations. Dismissing all stats from the DSL, it was 2017 when most Met fans sat up and took notice. At the age of 18, he managed a respectable .695 OPS in Columbia (a team in a pitcher’s league). This would lead to a mid-year promotion in 2018 where he would obliterate Advanced A before moving to Binghamton but in 2019 he came back down to earth in his second season of AA.
Eighteen games in the Arizona Fall League (later in 2019) were our only clue as to the echelon of player the Mets still had on their hands. Which player was the real one? The .695 OPS player we’d seen in Binghamton or the .999 OPS superstar we witnessed in Arizona? The answer was somewhere in between the two. As we saw, Gimenez managed a steady .732 OPS in his major league debut, while providing solid defense and tons of positive energy. He will be missed.
Josh Wolf, RHSP – The Other Draft Pick
One of the best things Brodie Van Wagenen accomplished with the Mets seems to be his drafting. The 2019 amateur draft still looks, on paper, like a coup of epic proportions. In the draft the Mets took Brett Baty in the first round and picked up the 13th overall ranked prospect, Matthew Allan in the third round when most teams assumed that the prospect would decline a contract offer and proceed to college. In all of this, people may have forgotten that the Mets picked up Wolf in the second round, despite him being ranked to be picked towards the tail end of the first.
Wolf has barely had a chance to prove himself since that draft but, did look like he had the “stuff” that teams look for when they search for front-end starters. He has a reasonable shot of achieving a solid career but is still too far away from the majors to call it likely.
Isaiah Greene, CF – Crow Armstrong’s Insurance Policy
There were some feelings of ambivalence when the Mets selected Greene with their second round pick this past year. On the one hand, he was among the most talented players left. On the other, he profiled too closely on the same path as the player the Mets had taken with their first pick. Greene has speed with some hitting ability and seems likely to be able to hold onto his role in center. He was a solid prospect but always smacked of the Mets not quite having faith in Pete Crow Armstrong panning out. Without getting to review any performance numbers in the minors no one can say much more; yet, we should recognize that he still has the potential to reach the majors and make an impact.
Consider this a fond farewell to Rosario, Gimenez, Wolf and Greene. My outlook on this trade is pretty rosy but it was still important to talk about the players the Mets have sent away. We all know we may see them again in years to come and may well rue the day that Cleveland came calling with a trade opportunity.