Francisco Lindor’s trade could spark first Yankees-Mets battle

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Now the filet mignon is served.We have now arrived at the fireworks factory.

We’re all gearing up for a Yankees-Mets Hot Stove battle, thanks to whether the foot is even or downright turned?

Let’s give a great New York welcome to Francisco Lindor.

More than any current free agent, non-free agent Lindor represents the kind of talent both sides of the Big Apple should seriously consider acquiring. With one year out of the free market, his home team the financially struggling Indians have informed other clubs of their intention to trade him this winter, an industry source confirmed (as reported for the first time USA Today).

The timing seems better for the Mets than for the Yankees. However, Lindor has such an advantage, such magnetism, that he should get the Yankees to think creatively about adding it.

Why? Start with the analysis, because you secretly love them all: From 2015 to 2020, Lindor had a total of 28.4 wins over substitution, according to Baseball-Reference.com. That ranks him sixth in all of Major League Baseball during that time, behind those Fab Five: Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Manny Machado. Such a six-year period puts a guy halfway to Cooperstown. At 26, Lindor is by far the youngest member of this group. His subpar 2020 (0.8 WAR) can easily be skipped as a small sample 2020-ness.

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Hal Steinbrener, Francisco Lindor et Steve CohenAP. Getty Images, Reuters

Then turn to the type of player (five tools) and person (dynamic) that he has established himself to be, and you talk about the type of guy who can sell tickets, if clubs are selling tickets again. . Who can play in the commercials.

For Mets, a Lindor import seems easier: making Amed Rosario or Ronny Mauricio (or Andres Gimenez, if Indians love him more than other shortstops) the centerpiece of what would be a multi-commercial package. players. Steve Cohen, who tweeted Thursday that he was hoping to complete his purchase of the Mets by Friday, can afford the kind of extension ($ 300 million over 10 years? COVID economy is hard to calculate) that would keep Lindor out of business. free agency.

For the Yankees, adjusting to Lindor is a game on the Jenga roster: if they acquire Lindor and his 2021 salary, that likely means no DJ LeMahieu, given their intention to cut payroll. And to get Lindor, they would probably have to feature Gleyber Torres or Luke Voit as the main piece. Could the Yankees replace Sees at first base with Miguel Andujar, who only played that position in spring training? Could they find a way to trade Giancarlo Stanton, as Joel Sherman suggested, in a way that would open up a payroll space for LeMahieu to return? An extension of the Yankees for Lindor would also be trickier because of their luxury tax concerns; They could sign him to a one-year contract for 2021 for around $ 20 million and then grant him the extension from 2022 to lower their 2021 bill.

Lindor would be worth the Yankees in a way that JT Realmuto and Trevor Bauer wouldn’t because of his age and marketability; the Mets will most likely be on Realmuto and possibly Bauer. Despite all the chatter about the Mets trying to steal LeMahieu from the Yankees, he doesn’t match them in position, and calls me crazy, but I don’t think LeMahieu would revel in switching sides in New York, not after how much he has. enjoyed its time in stripes. It reminds me of Andy Pettitte’s refusal to leave the Yankees for the Red Sox in the 2003-04 offseason.

No, Cohen-Steinbrenner’s most sensible inaugural opening challenge is Lindor, who of course could be traded to any major league team. Will this happen? I am skeptical about the Yankees budget. However, in this offseason, do not rule out work, flexibility or the unexpected. When you can expect Lindor to be traded, all teams should be okay, New York Twin Powers (sounds odd, doesn’t it?) Leading the way.

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