The Mets and Indians came together Thursday to complete a blockbuster trade, with Cleveland sending Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco to New York in exchange for big league infielders Amed Rosario and Andrés Giménez, as well as a pair of rising prospects in Josh Wolf and Isaiah Greene.
Lindor, 27, will join the Mets after six seasons in Cleveland, during which he was a four-time All-Star and recorded three Top 10 finishes in the AL MVP race, while also garnering a pair of Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards apiece. Set to become a free agent after the 2021 season, the former No. 8 overall Draft pick (2011) batted .285/.346/.488 with 138 home runs and 99 stolen bases during his tenure with the club, accruing 28.7 WAR.
Carrasco comes with two years remaining on his current four-year, $47 million contract, which includes a 2023 team option. The 33-year-old right-hander compiled a 3.77 ERA in 11 seasons with Cleveland, averaging 9.5 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 over 1,242 1/3 innings. He twice finished in the top 20 in AL Cy Young Award voting, including a 2017 season that saw him finish fourth in the race after tallying a Major League-best 18 wins.
But while the additions of Lindor and Carrasco are expected to have major impact on the Mets’ 2021 success, it could be years before the Indians are able to reap the benefits of the trade. They did, however, land quite a bit of talent in the deal.
Here’s a look at the four players heading to Cleveland in the trade:
Amed Rosario, SS, 25 years old
In Rosario, the Indians are getting a former No. 5 overall prospect (2017) who has struggled to break through at the Major League level in four seasons with New York. As a prospect, Rosario was lauded for his hit tool and plus speed, as well as defensive ability which, at the time, made him easy to project at shortstop long term. But since his debut in Aug. 2017, the 25-year-old has produced a combined .268/.302/.403 line in more than 1,500 trips to the plate, also stealing 50 bases in 75 attempts (66.7 percent success rate).
While it’s not crazy to think that Rosario, a free agent after the 2023 season, could still realize the potential he showed in the Minors, his lack of plate discipline and on-base skills currently limit his offensive value, and the quality of his contact still leaves much to be desired. He was, however, a 2.4 WAR player in 2019, when he batted .287/.323/.432 and set career highs with 15 home runs and 72 RBIs, so there is some room for optimism when projecting the range of outcomes for his career.
Andrés Giménez, SS, 22 years old
Giménez was ranked as MLB Pipeline’s No. 83 overall prospect when he finally exhausted his rookie status in 2020. Pushed aggressively by the Mets after they signed him for $1.2 million out of Venezuela in ’15, Giménez made the jump from Double-A to the Major Leagues this past season and impressed as a 21-year-old rookie, performing well on both sides of the ball en route to a 1.1 WAR and a share of seventh place in the NL Rookie of the Year Award voting.
Revered as perhaps the best defensive shortstop in the Minors as a prospect, Giménez showcased his outstanding defensive chops at multiple infield spots in 2020, logging time at shortstop, second and third base. His 5 Outs Above Average between the three positions matched Lindor’s total from the season, placing him among the top 10 infielders in baseball. Giménez also boasts game-changing speed -- his Sprint Speed ranked in the top six percent in MLB – and knows how to steal a base, while his promising left-handed bat and line-to-line approach bode well for his future development at the plate.
The two prospects heading to Cleveland in the deal both have some serious upside and give the organization even more high-ceiling in an already strong farm system. But as recent Draft picks from the high school ranks, both are lacking in pro experience.
Josh Wolf, RHP, 20 years old (No. 12 on Indians Top 30)
Wolf, the No. 9 prospect in the Mets system at the time of the trade, signed an above-slot bonus of $2.15 million as a second-round pick in 2019, then offered an early preview of his potential during an impressive pro debut in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Physically bigger and stronger when he reported for Mets fall instructional league this year, Wolf, 20, made significant gains in improving both of his secondary pitches and received high praise from club officials for how he attacked hitters with his mid-90s fastball. Overall, he showed all the ingredients needed to become a Major League starter down the road, operating with three average-or-better offerings, including a future plus fastball-curveball pairing, from a clean and athletic delivery.
“He’s been exceptional and pretty dominant in camp so far, throwing a lot of strikes, getting his breaking ball over and continuing to work on that changeup. The more he uses it, the better it gets,” former Mets executive of player development Jared Banner told MLB Pipeline back in November. “He’s still so projectable and is going to gain a lot of strength as he gets older. We’re really excited about him.”
Isaiah Greene, OF, 19 years old (No. 16)
Greene was the Mets’ second-round compensation pick (No. 69 overall) in this year’s Draft -- taken with the pick they received when free agent Zack Wheeler signed with the Phillies – and cracked the organization’s midseason Top 30 Prospects list at No. 10. A product of the Southern California prep ranks, Greene, 19, had some of the best pure tools among high school players in the class, with a 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame that’s ideal for physical projection.
He shows the early makings of becoming an above-average hitter from the right side of the plate, with power that could surprise, and there’s little doubt regarding Greene’s ability to impact games with his plus-plus speed, whether it be on the bases or defensively in center field.
He was one of the more impressive hitters in the Mets’ fall instructional camp, according to Banner, batting “over .400 with a .500 on-base [percentage].” “This guy’s fresh out of high school competing against guys who’ve been in pro ball for a few years. He’s controlling the strike zone, controlling at-bats. He’s been really impressive.”