The Mets and Indians made perhaps the biggest trade of the offseason earlier this week. Star shortstop Francisco Lindor and right-hander Carlos Carrasco are now Mets. They represent the biggest pair of additions for a New York club that has been expected all offseason to pursue star-level talent.
Lindor, of course, was seen as a near-lock to be moved all winter. The Indians seemingly never came close to working out an extension with the four-time All-Star. With Lindor one season removed from hitting free agency, it looked apparent Cleveland would trade him away. Carrasco was less obviously going to be moved this winter, but it wasn’t a huge surprise the Indians parted with him, either. Carrasco’s two-year, $27MM deal (with a 2023 option) marked the biggest guaranteed contract on Cleveland’s books. Lindor’s projected arbitration range ($17.5MM — $21.5MM) would’ve easily been the Indians’ largest 2021 expense.
Each of Lindor and Carrasco remains a bargain at those rates relative to their on-field production. But Cleveland’s ownership has signaled a desire to cut payroll this winter; it wasn’t hard to foresee that coming via jettisoning the team’s highest-paid players. Cleveland’s estimated $40MM payroll, per Roster Resource, is now less than half the team’s 2020 season-opening outlay (prior to prorating).
While finances were an obvious element of the trade, it wasn’t a mere salary dump. The Indians brought in four young players, two of whom are immediate big leaguers. Amed Rosario is a former elite prospect who has been up and down over his first three-plus MLB seasons. Andrés Giménez was a highly-regarded farmhand himself and had a decent if unspectacular rookie year. The pair of prospects, right-hander Josh Wolf and Isaiah Greene, are recent high school draftees. They rank 25th and 28th, respectively, in the Indians’ farm system at FanGraphs.
Turning things over to the readership, how did each team fare in this week’s blockbuster?