The Mets stunned the world of baseball and their fans today, acquiring Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco in a deal with the Indians.
The Mets took out all the stops today in what has been a frustrating offseason, completing a six-player trade with the Cleveland Indians that catapults them to one of the four elite teams in the National League.
The addition of Lindor, a prime target of the Mets for some time now, brings a 27-year old always smiling All-Star shortstop to New York.
With Lindor on board, this created the opportunity to include in the trade Amed Rosario, a still budding player who is not ready for prime time on a Mets team bound for the playoffs.
The Mets Add Some Bonus Time
That would have been enough, but the trade leaped into blockbuster territory when the Mets were able to pry Carlos Carrasco from the Indians as a bonus.
Carrasco is a 33-year-old right-handed starter who has consistently been one of Cleveland’s best pitchers and went 3-4 with a 2.91 ERA and 3.59 FIP in 12 appearances this past season.
Carrasco couldn’t have imagined what was ahead for him and his family when he took the mound on May 30, 2019, against the Chicago White Sox.
He was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia only days later, a blood disorder that threatened his life. But the affable 33-year-old said a positive mindset has helped him get back to doing what he loves most.
Sounding a lot like his new teammate Marcus Stroman, Carrasco told ESPN: “I went through a lot,” he said. “But for me, I never put anything really bad in my mind. It’s always something good. And that’s what I did from Day 1 until now.”
Carrasco will probably begin the season slotting in behind Jacob deGrom and Stroman, with David Peterson and a filler in the fifth hole (probably Steven Matz) until Noah Syndergaard returns from injury late May or early June.
The rotation is now good enough for the Mets match up favorably with elite National League teams like the Braves, Dodgers, and the newly minted Padres.
Welcome To New York – “Frankie” Lindor
By far, though, the marquee player in the deal is Francisco Lindor, who, without argument, is one of the ten best position players in all of major league baseball.
Lindor, always smiling and forever upbeat, figures to be a magnet to Mets fans who seem to love most players like Pete Alonso, when their boyish love for the games shines through.
A four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner, Lindor is in his third and final arbitration season before reaching free agency in the 2022 season.
Expect the Mets to try to lock up Lindor with a multi-year contract that, given his age, could reach as many as eight years.
Lindor’s 2020 contract with the Indians called for $17.5 million, but a hefty raise from Steve Cohen’s Mets will bring him up to at least $25 million for the coming season, whether or not an extension can be negotiated.
Contracted by the Indians through the 2023 season, Carrasco earns $12 million this season, his ninth in the major leagues.
Call it $40 million between the two players, and this means the Mets have put a bit of a dent in the $60 million gaps they had between their previous team payroll and the $210 million salary cap (yes, let’s call it what it is) before the luxury tax kicks in.
Mets Complete The Heavy Lifting
But make no mistake, the Mets team of Jared Porter (GM) and Sandy Alderson has completed the heavy lifting under this trade plus the signing of catcher James McCann.
The pressure is now off, as is the din from some Mets fans who have been getting increasingly impatient by the front office’s lack of action.
All that remains now is to fill the slot at third base if it’s not going to be J.D. Davis and to pick up another starter to fill the gap until Syndergaard is ready or add insurance if Matz fails again to grow up.
If you are a Mets fan, it doesn’t get any better than the gifts bestowed on you today, especially following one of the grimmest days in American History.
The ball is rolling now for the Mets. The Braves will be tough to beat if they add a middle of the lineup left-handed bat.
Come to think of it; the Mets could use one too. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here…