Mets Should Go Get Francisco Lindor

With the Cleveland Indians getting a very modest package in return for Corey Kluber, it is very possible the team hastens trading Francisco Lindor. After all, by trading him sooner rather than later, you are maximizing the return you would receive in a trade. That’s important considering the Indians have already indicating they WILL NOT be re-signing the superstar shortstop.

In an attempt to figure out what the Indians could get for Lindor now, worked out six potential trades including a possible trade with the New York Mets. The proposed trade had the Mets sending Amed Rosario, J.D. Davis, David Peterson, and Brett Baty to the Indians to obtain Lindor.

Shockingly, for some reason MLB believed the Mets may walk away with the deal feeling the offer is too much. In reality, it is likely the Indians would want more. Of course, that presumes the Indians do not see Rosario as a star in the making, or that they could see Peterson thriving in their pitching system.

Really, if this is it, the Mets should absolutely at the opportunity.

Lindor, 26, is already the best shortstop in baseball, and he is about to enter his prime seasons. As he enters those seasons, he already has two Gold Gloves (one Platinum Glove), two Silver Sluggers, and five All-Star appearances. His 4.7 bWAR this year was his “worst.”

Since his Major League debut in 2015, his 27.2 fWAR is the seventh best in the majors. Among shortstops, his 119 wRC+ is fifth best among shortstops, and his 55 DRS is third best.

When you break it down, Lindor is a legitimately great player. He’s a superstar, and having him on your team brings your franchise that much closer to being a true World Series contender. When you look at the Indians, when you have a player like Lindor and a loaded pitching staff, you can get to the World Series.

When you break it down, the only thing the Mets need to do what the Indians did in 2016 is to get Lindor. Yes, Lindor would matter that much to this team, and yes, even on a team with Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo, Lindor would be the team’s best position player.

With all due respect, he’s a significant upgrade over Rosario, even with Rosario scratching the surface in the second half last year. That improvement is in the field and in the lineup. That type of upgrade lengthens the lineup, improves the defense, and it makes everyone better.

That makes having Jake Marisnick in center everyday more palatable. It allows the Mets to sit Wilson Ramos more for a much better framer behind the plate. It allows for a lot including the team overcoming some of their problems to become a real World Series contender like the Indians were.

Sure, we can argue the Mets need a bullpen more, a backup catcher, an everyday center field, or anyone of their significant holes. More than that, the Mets need the talent to take them to the next level. Lindor is that talent, and if you are lucky, the Mets will be in a position to extend him as Cohen grows in his power over the team.

Overall, the Mets need to do what they can do to get Lindor. While is is very possible to overpay for him, in all likelihood, it is quite difficult you could argue there is s way to overpay to obtain him. Even if you do overpay, you are still walking about with a top 1o Major Leaguer who makes your team better in every aspect of the game.

To that end, if the Indians are dangling Lindor, the Mets should do all they can do to obtain him because he is that great, and his acquisition is that important. No one should stand in the way, especially those mentioned in the mock trade. When you boil it all down, Lindor is exactly what the Mets need. Lets’ hope the Mets can find a good package for him.


20 thoughts on “Mets Should Go Get Francisco Lindor”

  1. Oldbackstop says:

    It is a moronic trade that guts our farm. Why MLB bother proposing it, I don’t know, since they immediately say there is no way the Mets would do it.

    I suppose they had to create a ridiculous trade. Batch, MD rises like a trout for a fly to embrace the opposite of their conclusion.

    It would immediately gut our farm and make our team old in exchange for a guy with two years of control left who costs more than the four Mets combined and will jump up dramatically to the 15-20 mil level in the next two years, going well into the luxury tax.

    We could use bullpen arms a backup catcher, and a full time CF. Why we would toss away any remaining treasure we have for Lindor is beyond me. Maybe Dom, Ahmed and Peterson.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      It’s funny. When BVW guts the farm getting little in return, you love it. When it’s not him doing it, you’re suddenly concerned about gutting the farm.

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        And your braying about it for years is utterly hypocritical when it actually gets down to KILLING the farm with our last vestiges.

        This is the Cano trade except we are giving up a proven young MLB hitter in JD, two of our top remaining farmers, getting back only two years of a player instead of a combined ten between Cano and Diaz, getting no cash back, and unloading no bad contracts.

        So I guess you loved the Cano trade? Can’t recall….

        1. metsdaddy says:

          You really can’t distinguish between Cano and Lindor?

  2. Oldbackstop says:

    BTW, off topic, but as far as the wisdom or stupidity of the Phillies pitching decisions, last year their pitchers cost them $79 million, and totalled 9.0 WAR.

    The Mets totalled $49 million, And totalled a little over 17 WAR.

    So which one makes good decisions? The Mets analysts didn’t think Zack was worth 22+ million a year…we will see if they were right

    1. metsdaddy says:

      The Phillies made the right move signing Wheeler.

    2. Oldbackstop says:

      The first 14 comments on the Lindor trade article on MM you mentioned openly mocked it (“nonsense”). I stopped reading at 14-0.

      Oh, I forgot, you are an excellent analyst, better than Tom Verducci, specifically.

      1. metsdaddy says:

        If those people were Indians fans, I get it because that return would feel light.

        If they’re Mets fans, they need a lobotomy.

        1. Oldbackstop says:

          Oh yeah, Indian fans dominate MetsMemerized, so 14-0 isn’t surprising.

          1. metsdaddy says:

            So, lobotomies are required

  3. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    “With the Cleveland Indians getting a very modest package in return for Corey Kluber,…”

    —-**THIS** (and signing Grandal) is the deal I thought the Mets should make (before signing Porcello and Wacha, though I suppose that’s obvious). The Mets offense is difficult to upgrade significantly. Not that they shouldn’t try, but with McNeil pencilled in at 3B and having spent $100 million on 2B last offseason (an experiment they’re not going to quit on in 2020), the Mets have strong players at 1B, 3B, RF and an immovable object at 2B. They have a very cheap platoon worth about 2 wins in LF. Nimmo and Marisnick are headed for 3-5 wins in CF. They have a 2 win SS with upside, and a 2 win catcher.

    In short, you get more from upgrading the 5th starter slot with Kluber where you’ve got just replacement level and worse pitchers (0.0 WAR and worse), than you do upgrading from a position player like Rosario who is already worth 2+ wins. The Mets FO should have recognized that they were a .500 team, at most a couple of games above, a team that needed to add two very, very fine players to have a decent shot at the postseason. With Corey Kluber–who from 2014 through 2018 was better than a guy named Jacob deGrom–the Mets had a chance to get, very cheaply, a tremendous starting pitcher who is still capable of a Cy Young season.

    Upgrade from Ramos to Grandal and it costs you only 6-7m more by AAV to add 2-3 wins. Apparently the Mets had the money for both moves, and made neither.

    —-As for Lindor, it just comes down to how much you want to decimate the farm in order to bump the team from around 84 to 87-88 wins. Marginal wins, ie the wins that help a team projected to win in the low to mid-80s, are incredibly valuable. It’s such a different place than a team that projects to win 75. I think it’s too late though, tbh. They needed to add two premium players, and if they add Lindor they’d need one more to be more than just on the fringes. If a team is loading up, will get around and even over the luxury tax cap, has already sacked its farm, and now is dealing two more valuable pieces along with a young and improving regular and a very good bench player in Davis just to get to 87-88 wins… that has to be unwise.

    You do this kind of thing, dealing for Lindor, if you’ve already picked up Kluber, and especially if you’ve effectively swapped Grandal for Ramos, and spent the 5m total AAV it would have cost to beef up the pen with Guerra and that guy with the funny name, both of whom were signed about 10 days ago. **THAT** is going for it. This, just fiddling around with bits and pieces because, as Wags said, they had to rather than wanted to (whatever that meant) then slapping Lindor onto the problem, gets the worst of all worlds: Continuing to gut the farm, but failing to become a REAL contender, a team with a solid shot at winning it all.

    1. Oldbackstop says:

      Hi Blair,

      That is very much correct on the ends, but I’m curious about the means. What are you using to project wins? I’m curious how it accounts for guys likely to have better, if not “bounce back” seasons. Diaz, is one. I think Cano could return to his career production for a year or two. Not sure who you are counting as a platoon in left…(Dom/JD?), but I think given a full season JD might become an all star…a high average, McNeil with elite power. Noah had a sub par season. In center, I don’t think there will be a Nimmo/Marisnick platoon. I think Marisnick will be a late inning replacement glove, perhaps with Nimmo swapping out JD if the upcoming batting order makes sense.

      Conversely….will Alonso hit 53 HRs, or will he get figured out a bit and pitched around a bit, and he is more like a poor fielding guy hitting .260? Can Jake win a third Cy Young? Or might he regress to merely excellent? Can Lugo and his partially torn elbow stay at his level of excellent forever?

      I guess an interesting exercise with whatever system you are using is to dissect how it did in predicting years past.

      1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

        @Oldbackstop – Hey. How’s it all going? For back of the napkin type work I’ll use a modified “Marcel the Monkey” (so simple a monkey can use it) approach, using bWAR and weighting each player by his past 3 seasons on a 3, 2, 1 basis, then dividing by 6. I’ll also use my judgment where I think it’s warranted. For example, last year Nimmo fell off precipitously because of injury, so if I think it’s a one-time thing I’ll expect more from him than if I believe it’s a recurring injury. I’ll also modify on the fly when I know this or that guy was lucky or unlucky.

        For more sophisticated or serious work or if an issue really strikes my fancy, I’ll weight the previous 4 seasons using fWAR on an 8, 5, 3, 2 basis. I’ll regress extreme, outliar performances since those tend not to repeat, or even come all that close to repeating, though like Jacob’s Cy they do often portend a new baseline level of performance. I also regress defensive numbers more heavily than hitting numbers, do a modification based on splitting the most recent season into two halves (which can help detect permanent dropoffs in older players, though some analysts despise “season splitting”)… check hard hit rates and apply that to BAbip to see how much of a hitter’s or pitcher’s performance was luck… for instance, both Dom and JD were lucky on balls they put in play as hitters–so how much of that was improvements they made in their approach at the plate, and how much of that was luck, unlikely to be repeated? Then you can even dig down and find their 10 most comparable players and what those players’ career BAbips were and how sustainable they might have been, and adjust accordingly.

        You might decide that of his 2019 performance, JD Davis’ hitting versus his baseline (or, what you believed his baseline to be) was about 70% luck, 30% skill–so you’d expect a decline in 2020, but not a decline all the way back to his baseline, which you’d project if you believed the improvement was 100% luck.

        For a team of course you’d add each individual WAR to the number of games a team of replacement level players would win (that’s about 48.5 wins these days) and generate a reasonably sound (or at least a fact-based) prediction of the total number of games these Mets will win. As for track record, I think most people who do this professionally publish (or some rascal publishes) their results over a number of years. As for me, small sample size caveats apply, but I picked the Mets to win 85 games last year. Unfortunately I don’t think, at least so far, that they’re a better team.

        Sorry–I just realized I didn’t get past the first line of your post! Must take a break now, but it’s a fascinating set of questions.

        1. Oldbackstop says:

          Hi Blair!

          Very interesting stuff. At the Bill James site I referenced early, WAR inventor Tom Tango posts regularly, and I had an epic debate with him about WAR about five years ago.

          In it he continually stressed the “hand grenade” aspect of the system….that there may literally be no difference between a 1.0 and a -1.0 player. There is a substantial benefit in arguing the difference between a 9.0 WAR guy and a 3.5 WAR guy.

          I don’t know what Tom would say, but it seems to me that the concept of “building a winning team” is lost by merely adding up WARs. If your 12 pitchers are closers, you have a problem. If your team is not balanced lefty righty, or has no speed, or has five great OFers but none that can play center ( see Mets) you have a problem. If you don’t have a lefty and righty pinch hitter and a pinch runner with speed, same problem.

          I dunno, maybe you tackle those problems in your system. But if you joined the Bill James site and posed the question, you’d probably be answered by Tom Tango.

          You would not be answered by Bill James himself, who thinks WAR and pitch framing are bullshtt.

          1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

            @Oldbackstop – Hey! If you saved it, you’ve GOT to send me a copy of that debate. 🙂

            As for WAR, yeah, I assumed we were just getting started. What I described is what’s for me the bare bones, the starting point. I wouldn’t use it as a substitute for comprehensive team building that works to achieve meaningful depth and flexibility–that can handle some injuries without folding and, in the case of the Mets, drives the team towards 90 wins rather than solidifying their status as a mid-80s team without much chance of seriously contending.

            As for WAR generally, the argument for its value is clear cut, I think. It’s simply an aggregation of everything that happens on the field; batting average, on base percentage, slugging, baserunning, etc., etc. So I’d ask, how can that be an inherently flawed method? One can argue that this or that version of WAR should be modified so as to better combine the elements occurring on the field, but the idea itself? I think it works. It’s just a matter of which elements you give more or less weight to.

            –Wrt Tom T saying “there may literally be no difference between a 1.0 and a -1.0 player” I’d be interested in how he details that, since if the system employing a Wins Above Replacement method is failing to distinguish between “sub-replacement level” (I mean, -1.0 WAR is a TERRIBLE player), and a +1.0 win guy (aka JD Davis, 2019), then something’s wrong with the application, and not necessarily WAR itself, particularly the more sophisticated versions intended to be used predictively and that take pains to account for luck, good and bad.

            As for the legend himself, Bill James put in years of effort on his “Win Shares” method of evaluation and he lost out to WAR. I recall he was thoroughly enraged by that, at times to the point of near-incoherence, and his criticisms of WAR sometimes come across as sour grapes. In fairness to Bill, though, his analysis and criticism was often hamstrung by his employment by a major league team and his resultant, contractual inability to talk about everything he knows often left him sounding incomplete and even odd at times. –He left the Red Sox a couple of months ago, so it’ll be interesting to see where that leaves him.

            As for the broad purposes of evaluation, I’ve gotta say WAR works, if used wisely. Year to year it has strong and statistically significant predictive powers. That’s a good and valuable thing, in my humble opinion.

  4. Frank Dworak says:

    What the Mets need:
    Not Yoenis Cespedes, not Rick Porcello, not Francisco Lindor, not Robinson Cano.

    LF: Marcel Ozuna (or Dominic Smith)
    CF: Starling Marte
    RF: Michael Conforto

    SP: DeGrom, Syndergaard (or equivalent), Lugo, Stroman, Matz
    RP: someone to replace Jeurys Familia.

    3B: JD Davis
    2B: Jeff McNeil
    SS: Amed Rosario (not Luis Guillorme)
    1B: Pete Alonso

    C: Wilson Ramos or Contreras

    and prospects

    1. metsdaddy says:

      What the Mets need is to be significantly better, and Lindor accomplished that.

      I’d also note the last thing the Mets need is J.D. at third.

  5. Oldbackstop says:

    I’d note the last thing the Mets need is Dom Smith flopping around in left field like Dom Deluise with a full diaper.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Trolling as usual

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