Sunday, January 17, 2021

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Mets Trade For Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco

A star shortstop and a veteran starting pitcher join the Mets, bolstering a team that is rapidly rebuilding under new ownership.

The Mets made their first blockbuster deal under the ownership of Steven Cohen, acquiring the dynamic, power-hitting shortstop Francisco Lindor from the Cleveland Indians on Thursday in a multiplayer trade.

The deal was announced on the team’s Twitter account at 1 p.m.

The Mets will get Lindor, 27, and the veteran pitcher Carlos Carrasco, from Cleveland in exchange for the talented young shortstops Amed Rosario and Andres Giménez. Cleveland also will receive the pitching prospect Josh Wolf and the minor-league outfielder Isaiah Greene.

This is not the first time the Mets made a blockbuster trade with Cleveland for an all-Star infielder. After the 2001 season they sent Cleveland their best prospect at the time, Alex Escobar, to the Indians in a deal centered around the All-Star Roberto Alomar. That deal did not work out for either team; Escobar sustained a serious knee injury and Alomar floundered in Flushing. Alomar, however, was 34 at the time.

Lindor, a switch-hitter and four-time All-Star, is considered among the best players in the major leagues. He is part of a notable crop of young shortstops that includes Corey Seager of the Dodgers, Trevor Story of the Colorado Rockies and Javier Baez of the Chicago Cubs. All can be free agents after the upcoming season, and all are expected to command enormous contracts.

With Cohen now at the helm of the Mets, the team, which spent years under severe financial constraints, can readily make that kind of financial commitment. The idea of locking up Lindor long-term would have been be part of any calculation before making a trade involving top prospects.

In each of his last three full seasons (not counting the abbreviated 2020 season) Lindor reached 30 home runs and 40 doubles. He also had the most plate appearances in the American League in three of the last four seasons.

Carrasco, a leukemia survivor who returned to the mound last year after his diagnosis in 2019, will be 34 when the season starts, but he had an impressive 2.91 earned run average last year and as recently as 2017 he went 18-6 with a 3.29 E.R.A., placing fourth in the American League Cy Young Award voting.

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