If billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen wants to make an impact statement as new owner of the New York Mets, his first order of business should be to trade for Francisco Lindor, shortstop, of the Cleveland Indians
If you are a fan of the New York Mets, and if you’re on social media at all, you undoubtedly have seen fans yelling, screaming and begging for the Mets to add Francisco Lindor.
We talked about a trade for two years of Lindor last offseason, right here (we’re pretty sure Mets fans would jump at that trade now).
So what’s the fuss?
Why all this fuss about Lindor? How good is he anyway?
Francisco Lindor’s career
Since breaking into the big leagues in 2015, Lindor is a four time All-Star shortstop, and has won both the gold glove and the Silver slugger twice.
He’s the best hitting shortstop in the league, on top of being the best fielder at the position. We are pretty sure this makes Lindor the best shortstop in the game. He’s also probably one of the top 5-10 position players in the major leagues.
Lindor has a career slash lineof .280/.380/.508 with an OPS of .889. This all contributes to his career WAR. of 24 in just six seasons.
Beyond just numbers, Francisco Lindor has the instincts to be an elite major league ballplayer. While having good, but not elite speed, Lindor has 99 stolen bases, while only getting caught 27 times.
Lindor did have a strong campaign in 2019. He amassed 74 extra base hits, including an impressive 40 doubles. That was Lindor’s 3rd straight 40+ double season, mostly from the leadoff spot.
His 2019 slash line of .284/.335/.518 are all in line with his career averages. It also shows his power numbers growing, as he matures. There is no reason to think this trend will stop, as Lindor gets older and stronger.
Is Francisco Lindor available?
It is still unclear if the Cleveland Indians will trade Lindor or not. He is in the last year of his contract, which is what has been fueling most of the trad speculation over the last calendar year.
Cleveland’s competitive window might have closed. They traded starter Cory Kluber to the Rangers this past offseason.
The Indians also traded up and coming stud pitcher Mike Clevinger to the Padres this season, after Clevinger broke quarantine during this season.
All of this means the Indians could move into a rebuilding mode. And being the small market they are, they might not be able to afford Lindor long term.
The Indians could also look to jump start that rebuild by trading Lindor for either prospects, or younger major league players.
The Mets have fits for both.
Can the Mets trade for Francisco Lindor? Should the Mets trade for Francisco Lindor?
We think the answer to this question is a definite YES!
The NY Mets should trade for Lindor. He is one of the best players in the league. He is also one of the best defenders in the league. The Mets have been one of the worst defensive teams for years. This would immediately improve the Mets defense up the middle. Lindor is also the leadoff hitter the Mets have missed for years.
What about Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez?
We don’t want this article to get bogged down in a critique of Rosario, so we will keep this short.
Amed Rosario is a singles hitter that doesn’t walk, and strikes out like a power hitter.
As one of the fastest players in the league, Rosario led Major League Baseball in getting caught stealing in 2019. Because he only hits the ball on the ground, he also hits into a tremendous amount of double players, for someone with his speed.
Bottom line: Francisco Lindor is much, much, much better than Amed Rosario. If the Mets add Lindor, look for them to trade Rosario.
The Mets future at shortstop
If you’ve read us long enough, you know we are not fans of long term deals for free agent position players.
Lindor is young enough that you could be tempted to offer him a significant, long term deal.
We wouldn’t crush the Mets for this decision.
The Mets do have Andres Gimenez, who was impressive in his rookie season. At no point did he look over matched.
The Mets also have Ronnie Mauricio, who is their top ranked prospect. This switch hitting shortstop with power could be ready for the majors in a season or two. Lindor (and possible Gimenez) could fill the gap until Mauricio is ready.
Shervyen Newton is the other Mets power hitting, switch hitting short stop. He’s projected to hit the big leagues in 2022.
The NY Mets have Gimenez, Mauricio and Newton- all who could eventually be starting shortstops. The Mets don’t need to sign Lindor long term.
One year of Francisco Lindor could be enough.
How can the New York Mets acquire Lindor?
If the Cleveland Indians don’t trade Lindor, and he signs as a free agent somewhere else after the 2021 season, the Indians would get a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick (probably a 2nd round), as compensation.
Any trade for Lindor starts with that second round pick.
The Mets have a few recent draft picks- notably starting pitchers- that could be a match.
The Mets could build a trade around anyone of Josh Wolf, Matt Allan, Tom Szapucki or David Peterson.
The Indians might want either MLB ready talent (like either Rosario or Davis) or a couple of midlevel prospects in addition.
The Mets and Indians could work a trade out.
Don’t forget. If Lindor is a Met for one season, and leaves for free agency, the Mets would get that compensation pick in return. This pick could replace any one of those pitchers the Mets would have to trade.
Cleveland gets a good, young pitcher in return, who is close to the major league than whoever they would draft.
Francisco Lindor is one of the best young infielder in Major League Baseball.
If billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen wants to make a big splash in his first year as owner of the New York Mets, he would trade for Lindor immediately.