New owner Steve Cohen is making good on his promise to invest in winning with the New York Mets. In the biggest trade of the offseason to date, the Cleveland Indians agreed to send All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor and right-hander Carlos Carrasco to the Mets in exchange for shortstops Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez, along with prospects Josh Wolf and Isaiah Greene.
There were reports that Cleveland was planning to trade away the superstar shortstop by Opening Day of the 2021 season, though it was also reported the team was in no rush to make the trade happen. Many assumed Lindor would be traded when Cleveland dealt pitcher Mike Clevinger to the Padres in exchange for several players, including shortstop Gabriel Arias, last season.
Several teams were interested in Lindor, including the Yankees, Dodgers and Angels, though the Mets were often considered the front-runners for the Cleveland star. While Lindor struggled a bit in last year's shortened season, hitting only .258 with just eight homers over the 60-game season, the 27-year-old has hit at least 32 home runs in his last three full seasons. The four-time All-Star has two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers to his as well.
It is expected that Lindor will earn around $21 million in salary arbitration next season, and then he can become a free agent. He will likely end up with a massive long-term contract from a team, so the Mets may have been extra motivated to trade for him with the hopes of then signing him to a lengthy deal.
Cleveland has made it clear it intends to further reduce its payroll, as it already shrunk from $143 million in 2018 to just under $40 million in 2020.