I hate to be the guy who throws cold water on what looks like a home run of the deal.
But, just remember the last two middle infielders the Mets acquired from Cleveland.
Yeah that’s right: Carlos Baerga and Roberto Alomar.
Now that you dropped your coffee, you shouldn’t worry that much. Francisco Lindor is a much different player than those two and frankly it was a very different time. Lindor is the real deal and should fit in very nicely at Citi Field.
Steve Cohen wanted to make a splash and frankly, he sure did.
Getting Lindor and Carlos Carrasco bring the Mets closer to contention in 2021, but there is still work to do and Sandy Alderson knows it.
“We are closer to being one piece away,” Mets president Sandy Alderson said, adding that he still has the appetite to sign a high-end free agent. “We are always hungry.”
That’s fine and even though Cohen has mentioned he didn’t want to go over the luxury tax this season, he may want to revisit that. You see, no team wants to go over the luxury tax, until they do and the Mets can’t use the tax as an excuse not to fill the holes in the roster.
That’s Wilpon mentality. We are past that.
But the Mets are now in better position, because they don’t have to sign a Trever Bauer or George Springer, but they shouldn’t shy off from them.
Alderson is taking a wait and see.
“It’s hard to know where things are going to go,” Alderson said. “I don’t know what the top end of the market is at this point. I think we’re going to hold our cards and see where things go.”
Remember, if there was a huge demand for either player, then they would have signed already. Agents are playing the waiting game to see if better offers are coming across the table.
More likely, they will have to come down from their demands in length of years and/or annual contract price. When that happens, Alderson and GM Jared Porter need to be there waiting.
The Mets have about $30 million to play with before they get to the tax. They could just go out and sign Jackie Bradley, Jr., Brad Hand and a back-end starter or two and call it a day. It should keep them below the tax, while giving the Mets a contending team.
However, will that make the Mets as good as the Dodgers, Padres or Braves? Or even another team that happens to sign Springer, Bauer or JT Realmuto?
The Mets have a unique opportunity here. They are the only team that didn’t get hit from the pandemic, due to the sale to Cohen. They can spend and have a powerhouse team next year.
Lindor is no Baerga or Alomar. He is something more. Now it’s time to build upon that and go out and sign a Springer or Bauer.
That will make Citi Field rock in 2021 and the rest of the league will take serious notice.
Photo by Kiyoshi Mio/Icon Sportswire