The Indians have finally ripped off the band-aid with the inevitable trade of Francisco Lindor. The four time All-Star, two time Gold Glover and Silver Slugger and face of the […]
The Indians have finally ripped off the band-aid with the inevitable trade of Francisco Lindor. The four time All-Star, two time Gold Glover and Silver Slugger and face of the franchise had been the subject of rumors heading back to the 2019 off-season, but with his final year of team control coming up the Indians finally made the move. While this was expected, his companion headed to the Mets with him was not. In another move to dump salary (as he is under team control through 2023), Carlos Carrasco will also head to New York as Andres Gimenez(MIF), Amed Rosario (MIF), Josh Wolf (RHSP) and Isaiah Greene (OF) come back to Cleveland.
Lindor made his Cleveland debut in 2015 and, unlike Carrasco, Roberto Perez and Jose Ramirez, chose not to sign an early extension. This lead to 2021 being his final year of arbitration where he is projected to earn between $17 and $22 million according to MLB Trade Rumors. Lindor ranks third in baseball in WAR since 2015 and could be set up for a Mookie Betts (number two on that list) type contract (12 years, $365M) following the season.
While the Lindor move was unavoidable given the Indians financial situation and their inability to extend him when he was a riskier prospect, the move of Carrasco is more of a surprise. Following his acquisition from Philadelphia for Cliff Lee, Carrasco got off to a rocky start beginning in 2009, but first received Cy Young votes in 2015, then came in fourth in 2017 thanks to an 18-6 record, 3.29 ERA and 5.2 WAR. Following his bout with leukemia, Carrasco came back to Cleveland in 2019 and won Major League Baseball’s Comeback Player of the Year. He had a terrific 2020 as well with a 2.91 ERA and 1.6 WAR over 68 innings in the COVID shortened season. However, unlike Lindor, Carrasco has clear replacements on the roster already as Shane Bieber has taken over the role of ace with Zach Plesac, Aaron Civale and Triston McKenzie already playing in the big leagues. He is under contract for $12M in 2021 and 2022 with a $14M option and $3M buyout for 2023.
While Indians fans should already know just about everything about this pair and are likely heartbroken by their departure, it’s time to get to know the new guys. First, making his big league debut in 2017 and very possibly the Indians new starting short stop is Amed Rosario. Rosario has 403 MLB games under hit belt already with the Mets and a .268/.302/.403 batting line. He has stolen 50 bases in 75 attempts and has been an above average defender with the exception of 2018 according to FanGraphs UZR. Rosario is arbitration eligible in 2021 and expected to make between $1.8 and $2.6 million. He is under team control through 2023.
The second short stop coming to Cleveland in the deal is Andres Gimenez (pictured at top from 2018), who made his MLB debut last year as a 21 year old. In his rookie year, he batted .263/.333/.398 with eight steals in nine attempts. He initially signed with the Mets as an international free agent out of Venezuela and made his pro debut in 2017 in the Dominican Summer League. In his four minor league seasons, he hit similarly to his MLB numbers, batting .278/.356/.405 with 80 doubles, 18 triples and 22 home runs. Prior to his big league debut, he saw great success in the Arizona Fall League in 2019 (.371/.413/.586, 5 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR in 18 games). In addition to short, Gimenez was an outstanding defender at second base in 2020 and has played at least 10 games at second, short and third throughout his pro career.
While the first pair of players already have a bit of big league experience, the other two players coming to Cleveland have a combined eight professional innings. Right handed pitcher Josh Wolf was a second round pick in 2019 out of St. Thomas High School in Houston, Texas and pitched all eight of those innings in the Florida Gulf Coast League. Pitching for the GCL Mets, he had a 3.38 ERA with 12 K’s and one walk for what it’s worth.
The second player is even greener as Isaiah Greene has yet to play professionally. He was drafted in the second round in 2020 out of Corona High School in Corona, California and is expected to be a speed first centerfielder. He was the 69th player taken in the short 2020 draft.
There will certainly be much debate over winners and losers of this trade and whether or not it should have taken place in 2019, but such speculation should probably wait at least a few years when we’ll know a bit more about those players coming to Cleveland.