If the next general manager of the New York Mets successfully brings Francisco Lindor to the team via trade, it could define their career for the better.
During Brodie Van Wagenen’s time as the general manager of the New York Mets, I felt he gambled on too many of his moves. Far too much of the future of the franchise was traded away for the possibility of an immediate positive impact.
Many of those moves backfired which is why in 2021 he will no longer be the GM of the team.
Just about any trade a team makes has some level of risk. Even in the case of possibly swinging a deal for Francisco Lindor, the Mets are gambling on their future to an extent.
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It’s a much safer gamble, though. Lindor isn’t an older player like Robinson Cano. He’s not a player a year away from free agency under an ownership unwilling to pay players top dollar as the situation was with Marcus Stroman.
Lindor is a superstar in the prime of his career. He is everything a fan would want from a shortstop. He hits for average, with power, and should compete for a few MVPs before he hangs up his cleats.
The risk the Mets make in trading for him is no different than any other. What if they give up a player who ends up becoming better? Maybe Lindor’s best years are already behind him. One injury and we’re all going to suddenly feel a bit differently about the trade.
The Mets aren’t going to win by not taking risks. It’s a matter of taking those wise ones where the payoff feels much greater than any possible downside to the deal.
In Lindor’s case, this means trading for him and getting an extension done almost immediately. Lock him up. Throw away the key. Ensure the best years of his career are as a member of this franchise.
Players like Lindor don’t often become available. When they do, and your team has the desire to win, it’s up to the front office to do everything in their power to add him to the roster. Waiting until free agency comes with too much risk. If he ends up traded somewhere else, that team would have first dibs on signing him to an extension.
There aren’t many guarantees this offseason for the Mets or any other team. One we do know is that Lindor is probably getting traded somewhere. The general manager that does successfully cut a deal for him will add this star player to their resume. If it’s the next general manager of the Mets, the deal may help define his tenure with the club.
Whoever it is that becomes the next general manager of the Mets will have their work cut out for them in hitting the refresh button on this franchise. Sure, Steve Cohen’s money will help. When it comes to trades, the next GM will have to rely on their own ingenuity and not the deep pockets of his boss.
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Just as the Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz trade seemed to define Van Wagenen, a deal for Lindor may do the same for the next person to sit in the GM Chair at Citi Field. With any luck, we look back at it with fondness and not disgust.