New York Mets to Acquire Francisco Lindor, Carlos Carrasco

The quiet that had descended over baseball since San Diego’s flurry of trades was shattered by the Mets on Thursday as the team landed Francisco Lindor, the most-coveted player likely available this winter, in a trade with Cleveland. And since most good ideas become even better with a bit of fit and finish, the team also secured the services of Carlos Carrasco, adding crucial depth to the rotation. In return, the Mets are sending Amed Rosario, Andrés Giménez, Josh Wolf, and Isaiah Greene to play at the Jake.

At this point, it would have been more surprising if the Cleveland didn’t trade Lindor before the start of the 2021 season. This move was long expected, but the “where” has been one of baseball’s long-burning questions. Lindor’s 100 wRC+ in the abbreviated 2020 and his 114 wRC+ from 2019 were both well below the 130 he spiked in 2018, but at this point, we’re simply quibbling on degrees of superstardom. The Mets were serious second-tier contenders in the National League – San Diego and Los Angeles are in their own class — and even if you like Rosario and Giménez, you can’t pass up the opportunity to acquire a top-five shortstop in Lindor (he’s third in our Depth Charts, first in ZiPS).

ZiPS Projection – Francisco Lindor
Year BA OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OPS+ WAR
2021 .268 .335 .487 628 101 168 38  2 32  88 60 106 20 122 5.8
Percentile   BA  OBP  SLG  AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB  SO SB OPS+ WAR
 90% .286 .362 .581 618 110 177 44  3 44 105 70  84 32 153 8.5
 80% .279 .352 .541 621 107 173 42  2 39  99 67  93 27 141 7.4
 70% .274 .345 .518 624 103 171 40  2 36  93 64  98 23 133 6.7
 60% .272 .341 .503 626 102 170 39  2 34  91 62 103 21 128 6.3
 50% .268 .335 .487 628 101 168 38  2 32  88 60 106 20 122 5.8
 40% .263 .330 .471 630  99 166 37  2 30  85 58 111 18 117 5.3
 30% .263 .327 .459 632  97 166 36  2 28  83 56 115 16 113 4.9
 20% .260 .321 .439 635  96 165 34  1 26  79 53 121 15 106 4.3
 10% .252 .311 .414 638  92 161 32  1 23  74 50 129 12  97 3.4

Carlos Carrasco is as huge addition, as well, shoring up a pitching staff that lost Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman for 2020. Syndergaard’s still recovering from Tommy John surgery and while Stroman will return after accepting the team’s Qualifying Offer, adding Carrasco gives the Mets more room to breathe. Based on the current roster, they would have had to enter the year with a recovering Thor, Steven Matz, and David Peterson, or else commit to moving Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman out of the bullpen on a permanent basis. An addition from outside was necessary, and with the exception of Trevor Bauer, Carrasco is as tempting an addition as there is out there. Cookie completed an impressive comeback season in 2020, putting up a 3.59 FIP in 12 starts despite the immense challenge of fighting leukemia in the midst of the biggest public health emergency in the US in over a century.

ZiPS Projection – Carlos Carrasco
Year W L ERA G GS IP H ER HR BB SO ERA+ WAR
2021 11 7 3.60 27 23 142.7 123 57 21 37 166 118 2.9

In return, Cleveland gets four Mets, including two (Rosario and Giménez) who will likely make up the team’s middle infield at the start of 2021, no doubt an attempt by the team to stay relevant in a juggernaut-less AL Central. Isaiah Greene and Josh Wolf are longer-term projects who won’t have an immediate impact. Wolf, a second-round draft pick for the Mets in 2019, is a raw, lanky pitcher with a fastball in the mid-90s. Greene is a very fast recent draftee, and the hope is almost certainly that he’ll be in center field in Cleveland in a few years.

It’s hard to avoid feeling generally underwhelmed by the players involved given that Cleveland is losing Lindor and Carrasco. But the return also reflects the fact that acquiring a year of Lindor isn’t the same thing as gaining two or three or four. The Dodgers gave the Red Sox a solid package for Mookie Betts, but they also escaped without giving up Dustin May, Josiah Gray, Tony Gonsolin, or Gavin Lux. Rosario and Giménez are both less risky for Cleveland than typical prospects are, similar to Alex Verdugo, and Wolf and Green represent the “moon shot.”

ZiPS Projection – Amed Rosario
Year BA OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OPS+ WAR
2021 .283 .316 .431 575 77 163 27  8 14 61 26 119 16  96 1.9
Percentile   BA  OBP  SLG  AB  R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB  SO SB OPS+ WAR
 90% .299 .336 .527 571 82 171 33 11 25 75 30  94 26 124 3.9
 80% .293 .328 .476 573 80 168 30  9 19 68 28 104 20 110 2.9
 70% .289 .323 .465 574 78 166 29  9 18 64 27 108 18 106 2.6
 60% .287 .320 .442 575 77 165 28  8 15 63 26 115 17 100 2.1
 50% .283 .316 .431 575 77 163 27  8 14 61 26 119 16  96 1.9
 40% .280 .311 .424 576 75 161 27  7 14 60 25 122 15  93 1.7
 30% .276 .306 .406 577 74 159 25  7 12 58 24 126 14  87 1.2
 20% .273 .303 .393 578 72 158 24  6 11 56 23 132 12  83 0.9
 10% .263 .290 .367 581 71 153 23  5  9 54 20 142 11  73 0.2

ZiPS Projection – Andrés Giménez
Year BA OBP SLG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OPS+ WAR
2021 .249 .305 .385 421 57 105 18  6  9 40 21 100 25  82 1.3
Percentile   BA  OBP  SLG  AB  R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB  SO SB OPS+ WAR
 90% .266 .327 .482 417 60 111 21  9 17 48 25  83 42 111 2.9
 80% .261 .320 .433 418 59 109 20  8 12 44 24  87 33  98 2.2
 70% .255 .312 .412 420 58 107 19  7 11 42 22  92 30  90 1.7
 60% .252 .309 .402 420 57 106 19  7 10 41 22  97 27  87 1.5
 50% .249 .305 .385 421 57 105 18  6  9 40 21 100 25  82 1.3
 40% .247 .303 .382 421 56 104 18  6  9 39 21 102 23  81 1.2
 30% .244 .298 .365 422 55 103 17  5  8 38 20 105 22  75 0.9
 20% .241 .294 .352 423 54 102 16  5  7 37 19 111 19  71 0.7
 10% .235 .285 .334 425 53 100 16  4  6 35 17 118 16  64 0.2

If anything, this trade should indicate that the Mets new owner, Steve Cohen, ain’t playing around. For Mets fans, their large-market team finally acting like one rather than a mom-and-pop ice cream stand has to be absolutely delicious. For Cleveland fans, well, you really deserve better. We’ll have more on the deal, including long-term projections for those involved, a little later today.





Dan Szymborski is a senior writer for FanGraphs and the developer of the ZiPS projection system. He was a writer for ESPN.com from 2010-2018, a regular guest on a number of radio shows and podcasts, and a voting BBWAA member. He also maintains a terrible Twitter account at @DSzymborski.

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Justin Kaiser
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Justin Kaiser

while i would love for steve cohen to essentially become lex luthor and sign the rest of the free agents, this puts the Mets in an interesting (and more realistic) spot to sign a number of depth guys and bounce-back candidates. getting two (or three) of La Stella, Kluber, Paxton, or any of the top end relievers would fit within the remaining $28 million the Mets have left before the luxury tax.