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Francisco Lindor trade grades: Mets land superstar face of franchise; Cleveland cries poor

Cleveland traded franchise icon Francisco Lindor on Thursday, and completely zero folks in baseball have been shocked. 

Form of a tragic commentary, isn’t it? Lindor can turn out to be a free agent after the 2021 season, and there was little or no likelihood the Cleveland possession group would conform to spend the kind of cash it could take to signal their famous person shortstop to a long-term deal. So he was positively going to be dealt in some unspecified time in the future. 

The query was this: The place would he go? We bought our reply Thursday. Lindor is the most recent member of the New York Mets. 

MORE: SN’s Ryan Fagan explains his 2021 Hall of Fame ballot

That didn’t make the breakup any simpler. Think about this, from Cleveland membership president Chris Antonetti. 

Right here’s how the commerce breaks down. 

Mets get SS Francisco Lindor, SP Carlos Carrasco

Have to know: There was by no means any actual doubt that the Mets, underneath new proprietor Steve Cohen, would make a splashy transfer this offseason. The query was what they’d do, and Lindor at all times made sense. He’s a bonafide famous person, each on and off the sector. And should you’re attempting to rebrand your new ballclub, why not begin with a man whose nickname is Mr. Smile?

Lindor is greater than only a smile and a nickname, although. He’s on the brief listing of finest gamers within the majors; his 2020 season wasn’t his most interesting, however it’s arduous to evaluate anybody by what occurred in that pandemic-interrupted 12 months. He’s been an All-Star high quality MVP candidate from the second he arrived within the bigs, and he’s nonetheless solely 27 years outdated (his birthday was in November). In his previous three full seasons (2017-19), Lindor averaged 34 homers, 21 stolen bases, 110 runs scored, 85 RBIs, a 122 OPS+ and a 6.2 bWAR, all whereas taking part in wonderful protection at a vital place. 

The query with Lindor and the Mets, in fact, is that this: Will they signal him to a long-term contract extension? He’s set to turn out to be a free agent after the 2021 season, which is why Cleveland made him out there within the first place. Mets followers can be upset if a deal isn’t reached; one factor Cohen has loads of is cash, in any case. 

And despite the fact that Carrasco can be inevitably overshadowed as a result of Lindor is within the deal, you possibly can guess the Mets are excited to have him on board, too. Carrasco, who turns 34 in March, had a 2.91 ERA/3.59 FIP for Cleveland final 12 months in a dozen begins and was a giant motive the membership made the postseason. That’s a pleasant arm to assist spherical out a rotation headed by Jacob deGrom. He’s underneath contract for $12 million every of the subsequent two seasons, with a membership possibility at $14 million for 2023 (with a $3 million buyout). 

Mets grade: A

Cleveland will get SS Ahmed Rosario, SS Andrés Giménez, P Josh Wolf and OF Isaiah Greene

Have to know: Look, this is the factor: Everybody in baseball knew that Cleveland was going to commerce Lindor in some unspecified time in the future both this offseason or throughout the season, which put the Cleveland entrance workplace in a tough place. It is also necessary to notice, although, that it was a place created by an possession group that steadfastly refuses to spend the cash essential to preserve its elite expertise.

It is not that Cleveland could not pay Lindor, it is that the Dolan household refused to. With this deal, the payroll for 2021 is down across the $50 million mark, which is extremely tiny. The Pink Sox have been in an analogous scenario once they traded away Mookie Betts — a famous person getting ready to free company — final offseason, and the return they bought again wasn’t precisely stellar, both. Take a look at the affect Betts made on the Dodgers. 

Amed Rosario was the Mets’ starter at shortstop the previous three years and simply turned 25. He’s nonetheless growing, however Rosario hadn’t developed into the participant the Mets hoped he could be, which is why they’re shifting him within the deal for Lindor. He has a .302 on-base proportion and 91 OPS+ in 403 video games, and may play second base. Giménez made his massive league debut at 21 years outdated in 2020, taking part in 49 video games, stealing eight bases, posting a .333 on-base proportion and a 102 OPS+. He was an everyday on High 100 prospect lists in 2018, 2019 and 2020 (however dropped considerably from 2019 to 2020). 

Wolf was the Mets’ second-round selection in 2019 and Greene was the membership’s second-round choose in 2020. Wolf struck out 12 in his eight rookie-league innings in 2019. Each have massive upsides, in fact, however with the minor leagues shut down in 2020, neither performed precise video games in opposition to different opponents final 12 months. 

Cleveland grade: C-

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