The deal shocked the entire baseball world on Thursday, as the Mets and Indians struck a trade that sent Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco to New York. It seemed to come out of left field (pun intended), but Mets team president Sandy Alderson said they’ve actually been playing the long game this entire time.
Alderson and GM Jared Porter spoke to reporters following the announcement of the trade and explained just how everything went down. Both teams were in contact with one another regarding the All-Star shortstop and veteran right-hander right when the 2020 campaign was complete.
“This deal has been in the works for a long time,” Alderson said. “We’ve been talking since way before the break, really since close to the beginning of the offseason just staying in touch. But it did come to a head here in the last couple of days, I’d say starting Monday.”
What changed for Cleveland that the talks ramped up?
“I think there were alternatives for Cleveland in this situation, so sometimes when the competition heats up, things move more quickly and come to a conclusion,” Alderson said. “I think outside forces or market forces that Cleveland was experiencing probably brought this to conclusion this week immediately after the break.
“I think what was happening to some extent was Cleveland was trying to gauge whether it made sense to possibly trade them separately or keep one and trade the other. So I think we always had our eyes on both, but it wasn’t clear that Cleveland was interested in trading both in the same deal.”
Alderson added that the Mets were “primarily” looking at Lindor, and Carrasco was never a long discussion individually. But when New York got “a lot more specific” on Monday, the talks heated up and eventually resulted in two Major League infielders – Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez – as well as two prospects in RHP Josh Wolf and OF Isaiah Greene.
“They did not come cheaply,” Alderson said about Lindor and Carrasco joining the Mets.
Rosario has been a staple on the Mets for the past few seasons, and Gimenez proved his worth in 2020 as someone the Mets could trust with his defensive prowess and solid left swing. In fact, Alderson said Gimenez was “central to Cleveland’s interest in making a deal.”
“It’s great,” Porter said. “Anytime you can add a player like Lindor, it’s one of the hardest things in baseball to get – a shortstop, superstar player in his prime. ...Adding a guy like Carrasco in the same deal lengthens the rotation, really kinda gives a different look in our rotation from the other two guys that are at the top half.”
It was a blockbuster deal that frankly the Mets seem to have already won based on the package that was agreed upon. Only the results on the field will prove that, but Alderson and Porter are more than optimistic that this trade has been a game-changing one for the franchise.
“We’re very excited about this and I think the two players coming from Cleveland are as well,” Alderson said. “They’ve spent a lot of time in Cleveland and so there were mixed emotions, but I think they’re excited about coming to New York.”