To fully rebuild their rotation, the New York Mets will need to look at some trade opportunities. One option to explore is Cleveland Indians veteran Carlos Carrasco.
I can hear it already. New York Mets fans are lining up to complain about Carlos Carrasco’s age, health, and/or salary. How dare I? How dare I suggest the Mets go beyond just signing the highest-paid free agent starting pitchers?
Now that I got this out of the way, let’s examine why a trade for Carrasco isn’t such a bad thing.
I think the Cleveland Indians are going to sell a few pieces this winter. The perfect zero attendance in 2020 certainly hurt their revenue stream. This means expensive pieces like Francisco Lindor are probably getting moved.
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While there haven’t been many rumors about Carrasco, he is the one pitcher in the rotation performing well and earning big bucks. At 34-years-old next season with a $12 million salary coming his way, it’s a bit pricey for a frugal ball club.
This is where the Mets come in. Money will be no issue for them under Steve Cohen, right? Well, we don’t quite know for sure how the future Mets owner will look at dollar and cents. What we can understand is that the club cannot solve all of their problems by paying free agents.
The free agent market of starting pitching isn’t an elite one which has me scouring the rest of the league for guys like Carrasco—good pitchers making money on teams that would probably not like to have the payroll hit.
Signed through 2023 at a rate not much higher than what Rick Porcello was set to make in 2020, Carrasco is quite affordable.
In 2020, Carrasco made 12 starts and had a fantastic rebound campaign for the Indians. He was 3-4 with a 2.91 ERA. This was even more impressive considering his 2019 leukemia diagnosis.
I don’t know about you, but any person that can overcome something like this and still perform their job at a high level has the toughness I wouldn’t mind seeing on my team.
Since 2014, Carrasco has been one of the top pitchers in the Cleveland rotation. From 2014-2018, he was 68-43 with a 3.27 ERA. I know he’s probably nearing the twilight of his career. As an additional piece to the Mets’ starting five behind Jacob deGrom, Trevor Bauer/Marcus Stroman, and a few other potential names, I like it.
The Indians are in a position where they might possibly sell Carrasco for less than he’s actually worth. The front office is probably already crunching some numbers to see who they can and cannot afford.
The Mets and Indians have been a good match in several potential big trades in recent years. Cleveland has needed some outfield help for quite some team. Wouldn’t you know, the Mets have a surplus.
I’m not sure how I would feel about trading Brandon Nimmo to Cleveland for Carrasco. Nimmo is a few years younger and more affordable. However, I’m not so sure the Mets will re-sign or extend him anyway.
Maybe more realistic, the Mets could always move J.D. Davis in a trade for Carrasco. I feel similarly with Davis going to Cleveland for Carrasco. The Mets are addressing their need for starting pitching help, but also surrendering a talented young bat in the process.
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Fortunately, these decisions aren’t up to me. I can still look around the league and find players that match up well with what the Flushing Baseball Club needs most. This winter it’s starting pitching. At the right price, Carrasco seems like a good player to consider.