ABOUT COMMERCE FRANCISCO LINDOR
1. The Indians have finished cutting the payroll. They’ll save at least $ 30 million on the trade that sent Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco to the Mets. Team President Chris Antonetti said the transaction “gives us the financial flexibility to reinvest in the team which will make us more competitive”.
2. The Indians will not use all of the $ 30 million in the deal for the players, but part of it. I hear one of their main targets is free agent second baseman Cesar Hernandez, who played so well for the Tribe in 2020. The 30-year-old has hit .283 (.763 OPS) with 3 HR and 20 RBI. He led the American League with 20 doubles last season.
3. I’m going to throw this out there: it’s a long shot, but what about Michael Brantley? He’s a free agent. I hear the Indians planning to speak to him. Since leaving the tribe, he has played two seasons in Houston. As usual, Brantley hit .300… that’s .309 (.867 OPS) to be exact. Brantley is 33 years old. I guess a team will offer him a lucrative multi-year contract. Indians can end up looking at free agents like Eddie Rosario or Jackie Bradley.
4. The Indians received players Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario under the Lindor Agreement. La Tribu could go with Gimenez in the short and Rosario in the second. Rosario has been a career shortstop, but the Indians believe he can easily adjust to second place.
5. La Tribu think 22-year-old Gimenez may be their starting shortstop for a long time. They adore his glove, considering him to be elite. Gimenez has started 22 games short for the Mets. He also played 19 games for second and 10 for third. But its privileged position is short.
6. The Tribe also believe that Gimenez was rushed to the majors. He went from class AA to the major leagues. Gimenez hit a respectable .263 (.732 OPS) with 3 HR and 12 RBI in 118 to bats. He was 8 out of 9 in stolen bases. Indians believe he can be a high-profile grassroots thief. The Indians don’t say it, but I believe they see Gimenez as the key player in the trade.
7. If the Indians sign Hernandez, they could send Gimenez to AAA class to play regularly. They could open with Rosario short and Hernandez at second. Then they could bring up Gimenez at the start of the 2021 season. Indians tend to be patient with their best prospects.
8. Rosario was ranked # 8 in all of baseball by Baseball America in 2017. ESPN ranked him # 3 on its prospect list. The 25-year-old has the athleticism to be a good regular player. In 2019, he hit .287 (.755 OPS) with 15 HR and 72 RBI.
9. But in 2020 Rosario hit .252 (.643 OPS) and at the end of the season Gimenez was playing more shortstop. Rosario doesn’t walk much, only four times in 147 appearances on the field in 2020. He’s 50 of 75 in stolen bases, only 67%. You want to be at least over 80%. Indians believe he has a lot of natural abilities and needs time to put them together. At the very least, he’s a respectable big league infielder.
10. Why did the Indians put Carlos Carrasco in the deal? First, the Mets wanted the right-hander. While the newly-owned Mets are expected to make Lindor a massive signing offer for a contract extension, he could still play the season and enter the open market. Signed for two more seasons plus an option for 2023, Carrasco is linked to the Mets even though they lose Lindor after 2021.
11. I have heard the Indians talking about Carrasco to several teams. While he was wanted, demand was not high. The teams were worried as Carrasco will turn 34 on March 21. He is a leukemia survivor. Illness wiped him out for most of the 2019 season.
12. Around baseball, there is also a sense to be careful when Indians trade a veteran starting pitcher. Yes, Trevor Bauer has been exceptional in 2020 for the Reds. But he pitched badly in Cincinnati after being traded on the 2019 deadline. Corey Kluber pitched a game after being distributed in Texas. Mike Clevinger made four starts for San Diego, then injured his elbow and will miss 2021 due to Tommy John elbow surgery.
13. The Indians were prepared to treat Carrasco not only for proposing the two-year deal worth $ 27 million, but also because of their launch wealth. They will likely open the season with a rotation led by Cy Young winner Shane Bieber. Next are Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac. These are the big three. They will likely occupy the bottom two spots on this list: Triston McKenzie, Cal Quantrill and Adam Plutko.
14. The Indians also have several young starters who could be a factor at some point in 2021: Scott Moss, Logan Allen, Sam Hentges and Eli Morgan. Let’s add Joey Cantillo to the list. It was acquired as part of the Clevinger agreement with San Diego. The 21-year-old southpaw has a 13-7 record and 2.51 ERA in minors. He’s not above Class A, but he could grow quickly.
15. Of the second group of startup possibilities, my favorite is Moss. He’s a 26-year-old southpaw who was a star pitcher at the University of Florida. He was drafted in 2016. His career record in the minor leagues is 41-17 with a 3.28 ERA. He had a 1.93 ERA in four starts for Class AAA Columbus in 2019.
16. The other two players the tribe has received in the affair are Josh Wolf and Isaiah Greene. Both are several years away from the majors. Both have been ranked among the Mets Top 10 Prospects by multiple rating systems. Greene did not play any professional ball. He was a second-round pick by the Mets in 2020. Wolf was the Mets’ second-round pick in 2019. Both were high school players in the draft.
17. The 6-foot-3 wolf was so prized by the Mets that they gave him a signing bonus of $ 2.1 million – $ 800,000 more than “split” for a second-round pick. He was heading for Texas A&M until the Mets showed him the money. Wolf’s average fastball is around 93 mph and hit 96. Remember, he’s only 20 and still adding strength. His professional career consists of 12 strikeouts in eight innings in rookie ball in 2019. His best pitch would be his cursor.
18. Greene was the 69th pick in the 2020 Draft, an athletic outfielder from Corona High in Calif. He’s a 6-foot-1 left-handed hitter. The Indians had low marks in the first round / high in the second round on Wolf and Greene. They settled for younger prospects because they believed they would be more valuable than the mediocre prospects offered to them as alternatives.
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