As I write this, the Mets and their new ownership are reportedly close to signing James McCann to be the team’s catcher next season and are said to be the favorites to land George Springer as its future center fielder.
I’m on board, but I want to go further.
Trevor Bauer is the top free agent pitcher in free agency and will command big dollars whenever and wherever he signs. While I recognize the need for starting pitching and Bauer’s talent, I’d rather invest the money elsewhere. If I ran the Mets, I’d continue to build the team up the middle. That means adding one of the premier players in the game at perhaps the most important position. By means of trade, not free agency.
Francisco Lindor trade talks are heating up and I want the Mets to be at the forefront. No, the Mets do not have much in the way of talented prospects right now, but they do have something the Indians need: a couple of young offensive players to step into their lineup right now and produce.
Here’s my offer: Dominic Smith, Juan Rosario and any minor leaguer not named Francisco Alvarez, their19-year-old catcher of the future, for Lindor. Of course, you don’t make this deal without the ability to sign Lindor to a mega-deal. That’s why I assign those “Bauer dollars” to Lindor, a 27-year-old star who many consider a top-5 player in the game.
Make the trade and continue to bolster the club up the middle. Move Andres Gimenez to second base and leave him there, making him Lindor’s double-play partner for years to come.
Dom Smith’s value may never be greater than it is today, or he may yet blossom into one of the game’s top first basemen given the opportunity to play every day. That’s a chance you have to take if you want to add someone of Lindor’s talents. I’ve always liked Rosario, too, and believe he can produce as an everyday shortstop. Fortunately, or unfortunately for them, each player has someone standing in their way in Queens. But both players can hit, something that is desperately needed in pitching-rich Cleveland.
The Indians won’t be able to re-sign Lindor, that’s why he’s available. They will need a partner who has the means to sign the shortstop to a mega-deal or it’s never going to happen. And, for the first time in my lifetime, the Mets’ new ownership has the resources.
Don’t be conservative now. In this pandemic world where the Mets’ Steve Cohen was the only owner not to lose millions of dollars last year, the Mets have an opportunity of a lifetime to make up for many wasted years. Get Lindor in the fold, then add a couple more Trevor May-type relievers and finally fix the bullpen in an offseason that is flooded with strong arms with nowhere to go.
Anyway, that’s how I’d play it if I was in Steve Cohen’s shoes and had his wallet.