All the talk we heard the past few days was the Baseball Hot Stove was not burning at all but the Mets changed that in a New York minute shocking the baseball world with a blockbuster trade bringing Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco to the Mets.
Lindor is quite simply the best shortstop in baseball and one of the top 10 overall players in the sport. He is a 4 Time All Star and has twice won the Gold Glove for his position and he brings with him a passion to play the game that I believe is unmatched. The Indians were forced to deal both players because of their poor cash flow situation
Lindor is entering into the walk year of his contract so the Mets will look to extend his deal in the coming weeks. Sandy Alderson said, “We acquired Francisco because of his present ability and the possibility that he could be a Met long term. There is no guarantee of that. It is something we will approach in the next few weeks.”
In Carrasco the Mets received a pitcher that could slot right into their rotation and he was one of the real feel good stories in 2020 as he battled leukemia to return to the mound and he is under contractual control for the next 2 seasons with a 2023 team option which becomes guaranteed if he pitches 170 innings in 2022.
The Mets were forced to give up both Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez in deal along with 2 prospects but none of those prospects–Isiah Greene or Josh Wolf are ranked in the Top 5 of club prospects.
So where do the Mets go from here? Since the change in ownership the team has made a # of moves including signing both Marcus Stroman and Noah Syndergaard to one year contracts but also added Trevor May in the bullpen and a solid catcher in James McCann.
Center Field is still a need and they would like to add an arm to the bullpen. They are talking to Brad Hand and George Springer who fits neatly into those needs but the team is quickly approaching the $210 Million luxury tax benchmark so they may have to re-assess Springer.
I am hearing both the Jays and Mets are hot on the heels of Springer but this deal could change that especially if Lindor and the Mets agree to a long-term deal knowing that Michael Conforto is also in a walk year which needs to be addressed at some point.
That could mean someone like a Jackie Bradley Jr. could enter into the minds of the Mets. who would not be anywhere near the offensive slugger Springer is but in a platoon with Jake Marisnick could give the Mets a duo in that position that will be defensive stars.
And Bradley would come with a much lower pricetag than Springer allowing the Mets to snare a Brad Hand or Liam Hendricks for bullpen depth while staying in budget.
Lets not forget– a big goal this team had going into the off-season was to improve their defense up the middle. And additions like McCann and Lindor have surely addressed some of that. Plus the suspension of Robinson Cano gives them a huge defensive upgrade at second base wit the glove of Jeff McNeil.
But today is about star power and The Mets gave their fans a great holiday gift bringing in one of the best players in baseball. In the process, they have put the NL East up for grabs. One rival executive told me this trade reminded him of the night Mets traded RA Dickey. Everyone knew they were getting Travis d’Arnaud but to also get Noah Syndergaard was pure larceny. And you get the feeling history just repeated itself.
Sandy Alderson knows the game and always has the knack of pouncing on a deal when he feels the time is right. He did it with Yoenis Cespedes and a year later with Jay Bruce. And he has done it again.
And his version of Ground Hog Day has brought a big smile to the face of MetNation.Please listen to Mets Zoom press conference tday,Edited by Rich Coutinho.