NY Mets offseason grades for the major winter transactions
Mets acquire Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco
The New York Mets made one of, if not the biggest trade in franchise history, acquiring shortstop Francisco Lindor and starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco from the Cleveland Indians. In a steal of a deal, the Mets sent shortstops Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez to Cleveland along with pitching prospect Josh Wolf and outfield prospect Isaiah Greene. Wolf was the Mets ninth-ranked prospect while Greene was the tenth-ranked prospect according to MLB.com.
The obvious winner in this deal is the New York Mets. In most trades where a superstar is involved, the team that acquires the superstar comes out as the winner. Francisco Lindor is a superstar. He is at the very least a top 10 player and is without a doubt in my opinion the best shortstop in the game.
When ranking baseball players, Mike Trout and Mookie Betts come up as the top two in any list as they should. Is there really a definitive third-best player in the game? Francisco Lindor is definitely in that conversation. He is elite defensively, something the Mets have been missing for years.
Lindor is also elite offensively. In his last three full seasons, Lindor has hit at least 32 home runs while stealing at least 15 bases. Lindor is a switch hitter that will add a massive boost to the top of the Mets lineup for this season at least.
The one caveat with this deal is Lindor is a free agent at the end of the year. This is why the package to acquire him was so much less than it should have been. With Steve Cohen in place as the owner, I fully expect the Mets to lock Lindor up on a massive extension before the season starts.
Now to the other piece of the deal, Carlos Carrasco. He is not talked about nearly as much as he should be. He slots in perfectly as the Mets number two starter behind Jacob deGrom and has been one of the more consistent starters in the game the last six seasons. In the shortened 2020 season after winning his battle against Leukemia, he posted a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts, adding a 10.9 K/9 (career-high) while also putting up an ERA+ of 157 (another career-high).
The best part about Carrasco is his price tag. He has two years guaranteed on his deal worth $12 million dollars per season. To prove how good that money is for a top-end pitcher like Carrasco, Drew Smyly just signed a 1 year $11 million dollar deal this offseason. He made a grand total of five starts last season and had a 5.69 ERA in his 21 starts in 2019.
While Carrasco is 33 years old, I fully expect him to pitch well at least for this season. If he struggles next season, he has a team option worth $14 million dollars in 2023 that the Mets can decline.
So the Mets got the best shortstop in the game and a really solid starting pitcher in exchange for honestly, not so much. The major league players the Mets gave up were Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez. At one point, Rosario was the number one prospect in the game but after losing his full-time starting spot last season to Gimenez, he was expendable. You could see he had the tools and potential to be a star, but never quite put it all together as a Met.
Gimenez was a pretty highly touted prospect too but was not the highest ranked shortstop prospect in the Mets system, that would be Ronny Mauricio. He debuted in 2020 and looked better than I expected, slashing .263/.333/.398 with three home runs and 12 RBI along with eight stolen bases.
Both Rosario and Gimenez have shown flashes and will probably end up being good baseball players. But they will not be Francisco Lindor.
The Mets also gave up two prospects in Josh Wolf and Isaiah Greene, the ninth and tenth ranked prospect in the Mets system respectively. When getting a star like Lindor, you would expect to give up a top five prospect at the very least.
I think this was an outstanding deal pulled off by the Mets. They got a generational talent at shortstop and a really good starter for a bunch of what-ifs. Yes, the Mets do need to extend Lindor but with Steve Cohen’s wallet and will to win along with Lindor being open to an extension, I have no reason to believe that won’t happen.