Grading the trade: Why Mets' deal for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco is an absolute steal

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Danny Abriano
·3 min read
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Francisco Lindor with Citi Field background TREATED ART
Francisco Lindor with Citi Field background TREATED ART

The Mets made a franchise-altering trade on Thursday that could impact the team in the same way the Mike Piazza deal in 1998 did. And they got it done without giving up any of their most precious prospects.

While adding superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor and top-of-the-rotation anchor Carlos Carrasco, the Mets traded pieces that it hurt to part with. But they held firm to Francisco Alvarez, Matt Allan, Ronny Mauricio, Brett Baty, Pete Crow-Armstrong, and J.T. Ginn -- their top six prospects, according to SNY contributor Joe DeMayo.

The above doesn't mean that the players the Mets sent to Cleveland might not blossom into stars. They very easily could. But the Mets did a tremendous job here, and team president Sandy Alderson accomplished his goal of not dealing the team's top prospects.

Yes, the loss of Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario (who could have been two of the Mets' eight regular position players this season) will sting. But Lindor will in essence be replacing Gimenez. And Rosario, while showing flashes at times, has been largely inconsistent during his four-year MLB career.

When it comes the prospects the Mets gave up in the deal -- RHP Josh Wolf and OF Isaiah Greene -- they have plenty of upside.

Wolf, the Mets' second-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, has plus stuff and could perhaps profile near the top of a rotation by 2023 or 2024. But the Mets valued Allan and Ginn above him and were able to keep both.

Greene, whom the Mets selected in the third round of the 2020 MLB Draft, is a toolsy center fielder who should be able to stay at the position. And the Mets were ecstatic after drafting him. But Crow-Armstrong is viewed as the center fielder of the future.

This trade is also a huge win for another reason, and it's a financial one.

Lindor will make close to $20 million this season and the Mets should be expected to lock him up to a massive extension before he hits free agency. So there will likely be a ton of money handed out there. Carrasco is another story.

Carrasco, a pitcher who is a legitimate No. 2, will make just $38 million over the next three seasons in what is an extremely team-friendly deal.

Contrast that with what mid-to back-end rotation pitchers like Jake Odorizzi could get paid in free agency (and what other mid-rotation starters around the league have recently been paid) and it becomes even more clear just how valuable Carrasco is at that price.

All of the above does not mean this trade will work out. Stranger things have happened. But the Mets did on Thursday something that every fan of the team should be ecstatic about.

They added a superstar shortstop. They added a true No. 2 to slot in behind Jacob deGrom. They kept all of their most highly-regarded prospects while making the trade. And they became World Series contenders in the process.