The Francisco Lindor trade has woken MLB up from a lengthy slumber. Did the Mets or Indians win the big deal for the All-Star shortstop?
Rumors of the Indians’ interest in moving Francisco Lindor before he hit free agency have been stoking the Hot Stove fires of MLB for months. In the end, the Mets’ deal for the All-Star infielder came together rapidly. Now it’s time to evaluate who won the deal.
The bones of the deal are pretty simple. Cleveland will ship Lindor and Carlos Carrasco to New York. The Indians will receive Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Josh Wolf, and Isaiah Greene in return. Rosario and Gimenez both played big roles for the Mets in the majors last year, while Wolf and Greene are included as prospects in the transaction.
The full impact of the trade can’t totally be evaluated until all the players reach their respective primes. That doesn’t mean an immediate winner can’t be named based on the current value of everyone in the deal. By that measure, it’s clear the Mets absolutely fleeced the Indians.
The Mets won this trade in a landslide, assuming they keep Lindor long-term
This trade represents such a weak return for the Indians that it will cause multiple MLB General Managers of other teams to get chewed out by their owners for failing to trump the Mets’ offer. It’s an act of front office malpractice by Cleveland.
The Indians should have prioritized bringing back potential stars in any deal that cost them Lindor. Instead, they’ve settled for mediocre prospects and a few young major leaguers who provide the team with solid cost control, but limited upside.
Both Rosario and Gimenez should start right away for Cleveland this season. It’s even possible that both could become above-average regulars in relatively short order. Gimenez is the better player, but neither possesses anything resembling superstar upside. The lack of that potential makes this move a failure for the Indians.
The transaction could have been salvaged if Cleveland would have extracted premium prospects to help balance out the deal. Instead, they’ve settled for the current No. 9 and No. 10 prospects in MLB’s current rankings for the Mets. The absence of an elite prospect such as Ronny Mauricio or Francisco Alvarez in this deal is mind-boggling from the Indians’ point of view.
Undoubtedly, the Indians will use Lindor’s upcoming free agency and the shedding of Carrasco’s salary from their books as justification for the trade. Lindor and Carrasco are too good to simply be given away for salary relief. This trade could doom the Indians to MLB mediocrity for years to come.