Wow. Did those rumors about the Cleveland Indians having to hold onto Francisco Lindor to the Trade Deadline shake something loose?
The New York Mets are deep into talks on a deal to acquire Francisco Lindor from the Cleveland Indians, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 7, 2021
In a market where teams are so reluctant to take on $20+ million even for a star like Lindor, I can’t help but wonder if the Mets saw what the Padres were doing and thought, “Hey, we can do that.” So now, maybe they acquire Lindor for a return far less than he would’ve cost any other year, and then they add a free agent or two?
Notably, the Mets have feigned that they weren’t going to use up prospect capital in trades this offseason. Let’s see if this goes down and how substantial the return is. That will tell us a lot about not only the Mets’ plans, but also what the market might be like for a Kris Bryant trade (who, you should note, would net considerably less than Lindor either way).
UPDATE: Let’s see what else is involved, but this would be a modest return on Lindor, as you’d expect. Not a BAD return, but I’m not super high on Gimenez, and I don’t know much about Wolf:
Mets close to getting Lindor from Indians, sources confirm to The Athletic. Right-hander Ryan Wolf, Mets’ second-round pick in 2019, is one of players who would go back to Cleveland. Andres Gimenez also in deal, per @JeffPassan.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 7, 2021
UPDATE 2: OH WOW. It’s not just Lindor:
The Mets will also be getting Carlos Carrasco from the Indians in the Lindor deal, per source.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 7, 2021
After recovering from cancer, Carrasco came back awesome in 2020, and there’s little reason to believe he won’t be quite good again in 2021. Wow. This is just a massive, massive move for the Mets.
UPDATE 3: Marcus Stroman is just a little excited:
— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) January 7, 2021
UDPATE 4: The inclusion of Carrasco is no doubt a win for the Mets, but since he’s owed at least $27 million over the next two years, it’s impossible not to wonder whether it was actually the Indians who insisted on his inclusion. Otherwise, the return on a Lindor/Carrasco package should be significant.
UPDATE 5: So far, the reports have the deal as those two for Gimenez, Wolf, and Isaiah Greene, a second rounder in 2020. If you’re high on Gimenez as a quality starter at shortstop, it’s a perfectly fine return. Not even remotely close to what you would’ve expected for these two guys in another timeline, though.
UPDATE 6: Jonathan Mayo reports that Amed Rosario is going to the Indians in the deal, too, which makes sense given his spot at shortstop. Rosario, still only 25, had a very down 2020 after a solid year in 2019. He’s kind of a post-hype guy at this point, but certainly capable of being a quality regular. Deal looking SLIGHTLY more understandable for Cleveland.
UPDATE 7: That’s indeed the whole deal:
Whole deal is Rosario, Gimenez, Wolf and Greene for Carrasco and Lindor. #Mets give up 2 SS, get perhaps the best in the game and still have Ronny Mauricio
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 7, 2021
What can you say? After the Darvish trade, it looked all the more possible that a team in the Indians’ spot was not going to get a monster haul for Lindor, and that’s how it played out. It’s a really light return for these two guys (in a normal market), but in a backs-against-the-wall situation (or at least that’s how the Indians have positioned themselves), maybe Cleveland was fortunate to get some decent prospects and a guy like Rosario.
In any case, the deal is an OBVIOUS great one for the Mets, who are wisely taking advantage of the market. And now when they extend Lindor and sign George Springer or Trevor Bauer, they will truly be freaking loaded.