Francisco Lindor’s start as a member of the New York Mets isn’t one any of us will forget. Even if he does turn things around and puts up respectable numbers this year, we’ll all remember for the first two months of what we believed would be an MVP-caliber player not looking so stupendous.
The Mets, who traded young shortstops Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario in the deal along with some other prospects, aren’t necessarily looking like the early winners in this trade. If anything, the trade is a draw (for now) but if we look at the deal as an opportunity to have Lindor and Carlos Carrasco for the contracts they already had, there’s a greater chance of the Cleveland Indians come away on top.
Baseball isn’t a game of small battles. It’s a war extended over the history of the sport. The Mets can lose this battle to Cleveland yet still come away as the winners when it’s all over with.
Let’s recall what the purpose of the Mets trading for Francisco Lindor was
The Mets picked up Lindor for purposes beyond just 2021. Even if he wasn’t under contract beyond this current campaign, the thought was that bringing him in now would help the team extend him and avoid having to compete with others in free agency.
Not everything went the Mets’ way. Lindor has looked like a bad buy early on. In the infancy of his decade-long deal with the team, the battlefield is strewn with lazy fly outs from the superstar shortstop’s bat. Fans are writhing in agony with each out.
It has not been easy to see Lindor play this season given how high of expectations there were. The four-time All-Star has been perhaps the biggest disappointment in baseball. Aside from his defense, there hasn’t been much to cheer about.
If Lindor was having this kind of season with another team, Mets fans wouldn’t be eager to sign him in the offseason. His stock would certainly have fallen. I’m not sure exactly by how much, though. One bad year shouldn’t erase the previous success and untapped potential.
At this moment, sure, you can say the trade was a bad one. Even if Gimenez and Rosario aren’t playing too well either, the Mets could have used the pieces they did to pick up someone more productive. Maybe this year’s trade deadline or next winter’s free agency frenzy would have the team getting involved in some other major deals. One lost battle won’t cost them the war.
Lindor has a lot of time to turn things around. The entire league is in a hitting slump, after all.
Trading for Lindor was all about getting him now to avoid the offseason competition next winter. I’m fine with losing the trade battle if it can ultimately lead to avoiding the free agent war.
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There’s no white flag waving in Flushing just yet. The Mets invested record totals in making sure Lindor was their shortstop. The great thing about baseball is you can fail one year and succeed the next. Things may never get better with Lindor in 2021. If so, grab the cannons and prepare for attack in 2022.