Things just got interesting; very interesting.
After a winter of essentially next to nothing, the baseball world turned upside down in not even one day. Newly-minted Mets GM Steve Cohen wanted to make a splash in his first year with the team, as he has said since joining Twitter.
Yesterday, he did just that. Maybe even a splash and a half.
The Mets acquired superstar shortstop Fransisco Lindor and heroic finesse arm, Carlos Carrasco, from Cleveland in a trade yesterday. Jeff Passan broke the news just before 12:30 yesterday afternoon.
The New York Mets are deep into talks on a deal to acquire Francisco Lindor from the Cleveland Indians, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 7, 2021
Cleveland has been teasing the possible shopping of Lindor for the last few offseasons, and it’s usually ended the same way, as just a rumor and nothing more. In those rumors, we’ve seen him linked to LA, St. Louis and everywhere in between. In the end, the team with the biggest drive to compete won the superstar of the ages, and much to the chagrin of the Braves, that team happened to be the Mets.
Now that the rumor is reality, two not-so-attractive truths revealed themselves. First, the Mets went from a small thorn in the side of the Braves to a legitimate threat that we shouldn’t take very lightly. We’re gonna need more than former Met killer Chipper Jones to fend off the newly-buffed Mets.
Yeah, there’s no Chipper Jones to help us…but there may be a similar alternative.
The second truth that revealed itself is that Cleveland is diving head-first into a rebuild unless we’re proven wrong over the next few weeks.
Starting with the trade of top free agent Trevor Bauer, the Indians have slowly chipped away at their roster, either in trades or declining to re-sign players. First Bauer, then Brantley failed to re-sign, and this offseason, we saw Brad Hand enter the market. Now, the cornerstone star of the Indians is heading to New York, and Cleveland doesn’t appear to be done.
The Braves find themselves in a unique position. With breakout star Marcell Ozuna on the market, they’ve got to fill an important role behind the reigning MVP in the lineup; should the Braves fail to re-sign Ozuna, of course.
But even if Ozuna does return, adding an elite-level bat to the lineup at a position of need is never a bad idea, especially with the Braves eyes set on another title repeat.
Since turning 28, José Ramírez has a 1.000 batting average and has only hit home runs. Unbelievable.#OurTribe pic.twitter.com/swbJCEQNCp
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) September 18, 2020
His swing from the left side has shades of a young Ken Griffey Jr. Notice the weight transfer and how he explodes into motion through the ball. Doing this allows his contact point to be right at the point of weight transfer, slashing harder through the ball. Ramirez’s apparent mirroring of the Kid is paying off, as he finished 2nd in this year’s AL MVP voting.
So, how do we get him here?
What Would It Take?
This is where it gets tricky.
The return for Ramirez would be more than Lindor. Ramirez has three years remaining on his contract and is coming off a career year.
If Atlanta were to make a legitimate run at him, it will cost more than a prospect or two.
While Ramirez used to play the outfield, he’s established himself permanently as an infielder going forward. Given how nothing on heaven and earth could make Freddie, Dansby, or Ozzie lose their spots, the attention turns to one of Atlanta’s best young studs of the last few years: Austin Riley.
I know. It feels wrong to even say. But, a return for someone with a value as high as Ramirez’s would require an MLB-ready backup to take his position. As awful as it would be, it seems that Riley will likely have to be included in any potential deal.
Cleveland has also been on a constant search for outfielders since the departure of Michael Brantley. Tacking on Drew Waters and Ender Inciarte would at least help sweeten the deal. Couple that with a mid-level prospect and some pitching help, like Wright, or a prospect combo like Weigel/De La Cruz, and it potentially gets done. It’s a lot, but Ramirez is worth it.
Photo: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire
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