Cleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor runs the bases after hitting a home run during a simulated game at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The Indians are changing their name after 105 years, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. After months of internal discussion prompted by public pressure and a national movement to remove racist names and symbols, the team is moving away from the name it has been called since 1915, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not revealed its plans. (AP Photo/David Dermer, File)
- New York Mets see big improvement in odds after Thursday’s trade for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco
- Salary-cutting trade by Cleveland has seen New York’s odds move to +1200 and on verge of top five
- Read on for a closer look at the deal and whether the Mets should be taken seriously as a contender
It hasn’t taken long for the New York Mets owner to make his influence felt. Hedge fund-billionaire Steve Cohen, who has the deepest pockets in baseball, has barely been the majority owner for two months. However, his millions helped bankroll Thursday’s trade for four-time All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor and right-hander Carlos Carrasco, two high-salaried stars who had outgrown Cleveland.
Lindor, arguably the face of the Indians and one of the top-10 players in baseball, will inject both offense and defense to the Mets lineup, while Carrasco will slot in alongside Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman and eventually Noah Syndergaard – when he returns from Tommy John surgery – to give the Mets a contending rotation. As a result of the trade, the Mets saw their World Series odds move from roughly +1500 to +1200, putting them just outside the top-five contenders.
2021 World Series Odds
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+450|
|New York Yankees||+550|
|Chicago White Sox||+1000|
|San Diego Padres||+1000|
|New York Mets||+1200|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+1600|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+3500|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+3500|
Odds taken Jan. 7.
Lindor Set To Light Up New York
At just 27 years old, Lindor will bring a consistent all-star presence to the Mets infield. A free agent following the 2021 season, the Puerto Rican shortstop will do everything in his power to maximize his next contract, and given that he has already put up three campaigns of 30 or more home runs in his six MLB seasons, that could be a lot.
It’s official: Francisco Lindor is a Met 🙌 https://t.co/R6Iae7DqWS pic.twitter.com/udKw0LFFyR
— SNY (@SNYtv) January 7, 2021
He’s a two-time Gold Glover, and hits for average as well as power, with a .285 career mark, and will be a massive upgrade over last year’s starter Amed Rosario – who was moved to Cleveland in the trade – both on the field and in the lineup.
Talking about the Francisco Lindor trade on @SportsCenter, how trading for a star-level shortstop could position them as the team to beat in the NL East and how today marks the first clear and abundant evidence that Steve Cohen wants to build the New York Mets into a juggernaut. pic.twitter.com/4aHCKUxv1N
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 7, 2021
Just as importantly, he gives legitimacy to the Mets as a contender, particularly in a crowded New York sports market, where the rival Yankees routinely dominate the back pages. He is arguably the best shortstop in baseball and his arrival will allow Jeff McNeil to move back to second base, with J.D. Davis at third and Pete Alonso – who has 69 home runs in his first 218 career games – at first.
Super Bowl 55 Odds Tracker
Rotation Ready To Roll
The addition of Carrasco instantly gives the Mets a bona fide No. 2 starter behind deGrom. He is one of only 13 pitchers with an ERA+ of 125 or better since 2014 in 1,000 innings or more. His lone down year was 2019, when he was coming back from leukemia and he bounced back admirably in 2020, posting a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts.
When fully healthy, the Mets rotation will be STACKED.
◾️ Jacob deGrom
◾️ Noah Syndergaard
◾️ Carlos Carrasco
◾️ Marcus Stroman
◾️ David Peterson
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) January 7, 2021
Carrasco also brings postseason experience to a club that will now be expecting to play deep into October. He will take his turn in the rotation behind deGrom, alongside Stroman and in front of depth pitchers David Peterson, Steven Matz and Seth Lugo.
I’m turnt right now. Lol @Mets
— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) January 7, 2021
Once Syndergaard returns, this rotation could be one of baseball’s best, and that outlook could improve even more if owner Cohen wants to open his checkbook once again and go after free-agent Trevor Bauer, who is still considering his options.
Mets Moving Up
In a crowded National League, the Mets have slid back into contention, but their path to a third World Series appearance this century is anything but assured. If Cohen does makes further off-season splashes, that may change, but for right now, the club appears to be behind the defending NL and World Series-champion Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres, and will be fighting it out for the NL East with the Atlanta Braves.
But as a team that hasn’t finished higher than third in its division since 2016, and has just two postseason appearances in the last 13 years, it’s a solid start, and one that sets the stage for the team to contend.
If the Mets can add Lindor and Springer…
1. George Springer (CF)
2. Francisco Lindor (SS)
3. Michael Conforto (RF)
4. Jeff McNeil (2B)
5. Pete Alonso (1B)
6. J.D. Davis (3B)
7. Dominic Smith (LF)
8. James McCann (C)
9. Brandon Nimmo (DH)
SP: deGrom, Syndergaard, Stroman, Lugo pic.twitter.com/6GuNHoAOq1
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) January 7, 2021
Ultimately though, it’s about having faith in the new majority owner. If bettors believe that Cohen is prepared to inject more cash into the club to contend with the likes of the Dodgers and crosstown rival New York Yankees, then jumping on the Mets at +1200 could be a solid bet.
However, given the plethora of other contending teams in the NL, the +1200 Mets still seem like a massive longshot.
For the last 20 years, Paul Attfield has worked in sports media. Starting out in his native Britain with the likes of The Independent, he eventually switched continents, with his work appearing in the likes of the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Yahoo Sports since.