Indians Trade Francisco Lindor & Carlos Carrasco to NY Mets
Cleveland Indians trade SS Francsico Lindor & SP Carlos Carrasco to NY Mets for Amed Rosario & prospects. Matt Selz discusses the MLB impact for fantasy baseball
Steve Cohen, new owner of the Mets, has been promising some big moves were coming for his team this offseason and they just made a splash of a move in the trade market to acquire All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor and right-handed pitcher Carlos Carrasco from the Indians for three prospects. We’ll touch on what Lindor and Carrasco bring to the major league roster for the Mets and what Amed Rosario does for the Indians but also do a dive into what the prospects bring coming back to Cleveland in the blockbuster deal.
Lindor is a stud shortstop that allows the Mets to have quite the flexibility in the middle infield as they can move Luis Guillorme or Jeff McNeil to second base, given that Robinson Canó is clearly no longer capable of playing there full-time at least, of course, when not getting suspended for PEDs. Lindor is a player with 30-homer/25-stolen base upside at the top of the Mets lineup, which should help add major depth to it and slot everyone else down a spot from where they were last year. The Mets’ 3-4-5 in the lineup should now be Lindor, Michael Conforto , and Pete Alonso , or at a minimum that’s a 2-3-4 grouping with the thinking around putting together lineups now.
Carlos Carrasco came back to have a great season for the Indians in 2020 with a sub-3.00 ERA and a 10.85 K/9 rate in 12 starts. He now becomes the likely number two starter in the New York rotation behind Jacob deGrom and in front of Marcus Stroman . Once Noah Syndergaard returns from injury, that’s a seriously deep top-four starters and one of the best in the NL let alone the MLB. There are still some innings concerns with him and we may not see him pitch a normal amount of innings for a number two starter but the efficiency will certainly be there and moving to the NL will almost assuredly help the ratios and strikeout totals even if there is a universal DH going forward.
Amed Rosario has been a bit a surprise offensively at shortstop for the Mets after his reputation was built as a defensive-first player in the minors. In the 2019 season, the last full one with the Mets, he slashed .287/.323/.432 with 15 homers and 19 steals in 157 games. He is clearly the replacement for Lindor in Cleveland without necessarily taking that huge of a hit offensively up the middle. The early look at the Indians lineup could have Rosario hitting in the seventh or eighth spot in the order which keeps his steals value there but the run production would drop off some from the 75 runs and 72 RBI we saw from him in 2019.
Andrés Giménez , SS - Prior to the 2020 season, Gimenez was the best prospect in the Mets’ system and for good reason, as he possesses an above-average hit tool with plus-speed and a great feel for the defensive side of shortstop. In 2019 while playing at Double-A he hit nine homers with 28 steals , a .306 BABIP and .316 wOBA over 117 games and then came up and stole eight bags in 49 games for New York last year before his season ended prematurely with an oblique strain. In Gimenez, the Indians get a plug-and-play shortstop to replace the departing Lindor who is young and under team control for quite a while as the Indians look to get younger and rebuild their core. Expect Gimenez to hit in the .260-.270 range over a full season while stealing between 25-30 bags and hitting 8-10 homers for a fantasy perspective while leading off.
Josh Wolf, RHP - Wolf was a second-round pick of the Mets in the 2019 draft and since then hasn’t pitched much in Rookie ball but the talent is there in spades. He’s a projectable high school righty at 6’2” and topping out at 97 mph on the fastball along with giving the pitch nice movement from his lower arm angle delivery. The pitch, that anchors his repertoire, is a 60-grade or plus pitch right now with some room to improve yet. Wolf also has a burgeoning plus-Curveball with 12-to-6 break at it’s best when he stays on top of it. There’s also a changeup to round out the arsenal but that pitch needs more consistency to really hit it’s ceiling of an above-average offering. The Indians were high on him coming out of high school and so they gladly will take him in a trade that will only bolster their young stable of projectable high-end starters.
Isaiah Greene, OF - Greene was taken with the pick the Mets got from Zack Wheeler signing with the Phillies last offseason and came out of Southern California after a very impressive Area Code Games showing. He is an athletic and quick-twitch type centerfield with the speed to stick there long-term, though there is major work to be done on his routes and reading fly balls properly. The hit tool is above-average and the speed is near elite but the power isn’t fully there yet and he doesn’t have the strongest arm on the planet. Long-term he is a prototypical top-of-the-order center fielder who will steal quite a few bags and contribute just under a double-digit total of homers of the course of a season but he’s still 3-4 years away.