The Mets are acquiring shortstop Francisco Lindor and right-handed starter Carlos Carrasco from the Indians in a deal that was first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Shortstops Amed Rosario and Andrés Giménez, outfield prospect Isaiah Greene, and right-handed pitching prospect Josh Wolf will head to Cleveland in the deal, per Passan and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal:
The Francisco Lindor-to-the-Mets trade is being finalized, sources tell ESPN. This is going to happen. The first mega-move of the Steve Cohen era gives the team its new face.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 7, 2021
Full trade, per sources:— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 7, 2021
To Mets: Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco.
To Indians: Amed Rosario, Andrés Giménez, Josh Wolf, Isaiah Greene.
Lindor, 27, is a massive addition for the Mets and could vault them into being frontrunners in the NL East. While he wasn’t really his usual self during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, hitting .258/.335/.415 with eight homers in 266 plate appearances, the switch-hitting shortstop has a career .285/.346/.488 slash line with 138 homers and 99 steals over six seasons. He also provides Gold Glove defense and had finished with double-digit defensive runs saved in two straight seasons prior to 2020.
The four-time All-Star provides a major jolt to a Mets lineup that was already pretty imposing with impact bats like Pete Alonso, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, and recently-acquired catcher James McCann. If the Mets can add another impact free agent such as George Springer, they could move right up there with the Dodgers and Padres in terms of being the teams to beat in the National League in 2021.z
Carrasco, 33, has been very dependable over 11 seasons with the Indians and had a stellar bounce-back season in 2020 after missing a large chunk of the 2019 season while battling leukemia. Carrasco posted a 2.91 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP with 82 strikeouts and 27 walks over 12 starts (68 innings) during the abbreviated season.
Carrasco will help rejuvanate a Mets rotation that not too long ago was one of the most imposing in the majors but fell apart a bit in 2020 following the departure of Zack Wheeler, the regression of Steven Matz, and the injury/opt-out related absences of Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman. With Jacob DeGrom anchoring the staff and Syndergaard and Stroman returning in 2021, the Mets could once again have one of the best rotations in baseball.
Rosario, a 24-year-old shortstop who isn’t that far removed from being one of the top prospects in baseball, is the biggest name heading to Cleveland in the deal, though his major-league track record isn’t much to talk about. While he has been one of the better baserunners in baseball, stealing 24 bases in 2018 and 19 in 2019, he has a subpar .268/.302/.403 slash line with 32 homers in 1,564 plate appearances over four seasons, along with a combined -35 defensive runs saved at shortstop. Perhaps a fresh start in Cleveland will do him some good, but his value has certainly dipped in recent years.
Giménez, 22, had a strong debut in 2020, posting a .263/.333/.398 slash line with three homers and eight steals in 132 plate appearances while seeing action at shortstop, second base, and third base. The left-handed hitter likely has the most upside of any player in this deal, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll hit enough to be an impactful everyday player.
Wolf and Greene are the Mets’ two most recent second-rounders and have little to no professional track record. Wolf, a high-school right-hander out of Houston, posted a 3.38 ERA and 1.25 WHIP over five starts for the Mets’ Gulf Coast League club in 2019. Greene, a left-handed hitting 19-year-old, has yet to play in a professional game after being drafted out of Corona High School in California last summer.