The Mets acquired Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco from the Indians in exchange for four players. But they bought them too.
Cleveland’s prestigious baseball division was researching what they could get for Lindor, Carrasco, and the duo together. Ultimately, because of the 2021 budget provided by the property, job one was to escape as much as possible of the $ 47 million the couple owed – specifically the $ 33 million for 2021. And bring in as many young (low-cost) talent as you can.
So Cleveland decided to bring Lindor and Carrasco together and accept a lower return on talent from the Mets. The Indians hoped that this way, with so many free agents and trading opportunities in this slow moving market, they could spend a piece of what they saved and look for ways to bolster the roster to stay competitive in the world meh AL Central.
So the first mammoth player move of the Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson regime has similarities with the first major transaction of the Brodie Van Wagenen regime.
This was also a free agency disguised as a trade . The Mariners were ready to put Edwin Diaz in a deal to make Robinson Cano disappear just as safely as the Indians were ready to drop Lindor’s value in order to escape the full two years on $ 27 million that Carrasco owed The problem: The Mets took on a far greater financial obligation in Cano than in Carrasco, while they got a smaller piece in Diaz than in Lindor and gave up a far more desirable trading chip in Jarred Kelenic than in Andres Gimenez. </ Kelenic has yet to reach the majors and be successful. Right now, the Mets' greatest sin was to act on it for less than a year and fail to see the value it had gained in just one full season in the minor league.
The greater baseball crime consisted in trading an asset that had the ability to haunt the Mets in what was essentially a desperate Mariners salary scoop. In examinations of the Lindor trade by outside executives (all of whom viewed this as an asset to the Mets), they all cited that no one the Mets surrendered would burn them, even though they all expressed admiration for Gimenez. Let’s do that some more time. I’m a huge fan of talented players who, despite being young, show both high baseball IQ and sincere effort. Gimenez checks these boxes.
It should also be noted that the two trading prospects – Isaiah Greene and Josh Wolf – were second-round players designed in Van Wagenen’s tenure and traded by Alderson. Kelenic and Dunn were the first representatives of Alderson’s first term to be traded by Van Wagenen. The Mets have drawn well for years, and if there was a compliment to Van Wagenen’s era, it was that he handled the design well in both of his attempts. Greene and Wolf’s reviews, however, state that they are years away and at best with lottery ticket prospects – again, time will be the ultimate referee.
Cano was just a much bigger desperate piece than Carrasco. When it comes to these types of players, consider how much they would get in the free agency if they were available. Cano was banned from 80 games in 2018 for testing positive for a banned performance enhancer. He started his 36-year season in 2019. So if he’d been a free agent after the 2018 season, would he have received anything? A two-year $ 20 million deal, probably not even that. Maybe a year.
Cano had five years left with $ 120 million, and even if the Mariners ate $ 20 million and Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak owed it the Mets for five more years at $ 63.5 million. To get access to Diaz, it was too much to borrow that money and give up on Kelenic. I can’t imagine any other team coming close to doing what the Mets did for Cano, even to acquire Diaz.
Carrasco has two years left for $ 27 million, assuming his option for 2023 will not be used. He is a leukemia survivor entering his 34 year season but has an ERA of 2.91 in 12 starts. Could he have hit Mike Minor’s two-year $ 18 million in this constrained market? Carrasco has an excellent reputation as a person and teammate, and when he’s aggressive with his fastball, his secondary things – namely his move and slider – still make him a strong starter. He’s much closer to two years at $ 27 million than Cano at $ 63.5 million to five years. Much closer.
The Mets were down 0.432 percent in 2017 before Van Wagenen took over and 0.433 percent last year before Cohen bought the club. Both administrations stepped in, believing that the previous club had undercut their talent and that changes would make them instant winners.
This is how Van Wagenen bypassed the best catchers on the market (JT Realmuto in one deal and Yasmani Grandal in one free agency), feared that waiting for Grandal’s free agency would cost opportunities elsewhere, and signed Wilson Ramos instead. He also signed an assistant, Jeurys Familia. His first blockbuster was the Free Agency move, which disguised itself as a deal for Diaz / Cano.
So far, the Cohen / Alderson Mets have bypassed the best catcher on the market (Realmuto in the free agency) and feared that waiting for Realmuto’s free agency would cost opportunities elsewhere and instead signed James McCann. They also signed an assistant, Trevor May. Then they made the move of the free agency disguised as a deal for Lindor / Carrasco.
Van Wagenen’s mistake was that a team never made big money or big fortune (the Mets used both) for a helper unless it is positive that it is a competitor. Because a closer with too little profit to close is like a beautiful roof on an outbuilding.
A shortstop like Lindor helps every day, although every Mets fan is interested in the production of a .316 / .352 / .544 slash Line next year – which, by the way, was Cano’s last season. Of course, Cano was then arrested again as a PED scammer. Lindor’s salary will be roughly $ 20 million, or what the Mets save if Cano forfeits his salary for 2021. However, Cano is still owed with $ 40 million for 2022-23 two years after its suspension.
So this could be the biggest difference between these mets and these mets. These Mets among the Wilpons were delighted when they made one final attempt to determine competitive relevance, with the owners likely knowing they were going to sell. Cohen is now with the deepest pockets in the sport for the long term. He can handle Cano’s salary and a likely extension for Lindor. Cohen has the money to navigate the failed free agency masquerading as his predecessor’s trade while he tries himself.
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