The Blue Jays had a golden opportunity to add an elite player to their ball club. It is super frustrating that they didn’t seize it.
It finally happened. The highly anticipated Francisco Lindor trade has finally gone down. Unfortunately he’s not going to the Blue Jays. Instead he’s heading east, to Flushing Meadows to join forces with the likes of Jacob DeGrom, Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso on the New York Mets. Along with Lindor, Cleveland is sending SP Carlos Carrasco to the Mets for SS Amed Rosario, SS Andres Gimenez, RHP Josh Wolf and OF Isaiah Greene.
My question to Ross Aktins is, ‘Why is Lindor not a Blue Jay right now?’ The package that Cleveland received in this trade is quite frankly a joke. Lindor is a bonafide superstar and a top ten player in baseball and Carrasco has been a reliable starter for his entire career. They did not get fair value back and it is infuriating that the Jays didn’t take advantage of a team that was desperate to move their best player.
In the joke of a return, the Mets got Amed Rosario, who’s been in the Majors for four seasons and has been a solid player, nothing more nothing less. In 405 career games, Rosario has hit .268 with a .705 OPS and been worth 2.3 wins during this time. For reference, Lindor has had four seasons worth double the amount of wins that Rosario has been worth in his entire career. Rosario is entering his first year of arbitration and is set to make 2.2 million dollars next season, so in all likelihood he’ll be shipped out of Cleveland within the next two years.
The Mets got another shortstop in the deal: Andres Gimenez, who was a fringe top 100 prospect last season coming in at 92 on MLB Pipeline and is only 21 years old so there is some upside with him. He debuted last year and was unimpressive hitting .263 with a .732 OPS in 49 games with the Mets. The final pieces of the trade were two prospects: SP Josh Wolf who was the Mets second round selection in the 2019 MLB Draft and OF Isaiah Greene who is the Mets 10th ranked prospect.
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After seeing this trade, the thought that Cleveland was trying to get a Mookie Betts style package for Lindor is laughable. The Sox were able to unload half of David Price’s lucrative contract while still getting two top 100 prospects back in Alex Verdugo and Jeter Downs, along with Connor Wong as well. The Mets were able to get one former top 100 prospect (who was barely one being ranked at 92) in Gimenez who under performed last season, along with a league average starting shortstop who is already arbitration eligible, and two prospects who are years away from the big leagues.
The Jays could have easily matched this package from the Mets. The way I view it, Grichuk is a comparable player to Rosario, as he’s a solid big league right fielder, nothing special, but a quality guy to have in your starting lineup. He’s set to make 33.9 million dollars over the next three seasons, so the Jays may have had to eat a little bit of his money to make it more comparable to Rosario’s contract, but I would have been absolutely fine if they did that.
Along with Grichuk, I think Alejandro Kirk would have been a very comparable piece to Gimenez as they are both 21, they were both rookies last year and even though Gimenez was a higher ranked prospect, Kirk performed much better during his time at the big league level. C.J Van Eyk is a great comparison to Wolf as they are both starting pitchers and were both second round pics. Wolf and Van Eyk are both ranked similarly on Pipeline, and even though Wolf was drafted a year earlier, he was out of high school, where Van Eyk was out of college, so Van Eyk might be closer to the MLB than Wolf is. As for Greene, I think Miguel Hiraldo would be a player of similar value as they are of similar age, they are similarly ranked and at similar points in their minor league careers.
Randal Grichuk, Alejandro Kirk, C.J Van Eyk and Miguel Hiraldo would be a similar package to what the Mets gave up to get Lindor and Carrasco. Lindor is a franchise player and Carrasco is a solid pitcher who would be the Jays number two starter as of now.
The fact the Jays didn’t pull the trigger on this trade is infuriating as it seemed like Lindor was going to be their best shot at adding an impact player this offseason with none of their free agent targets wanting their money so far. I know they have Bo Bichette playing shortstop already, but when you have the chance to add an elite player like Lindor, you do it and figure out where everyone is going to play after words. I really hope Atkins has something up his sleeve or else the 2021 Jays may look really similar to the 2020 version and that would be a huge disappointment.