Wow, what a great time to be a Mets fan. The 2020 season did not finish well for the Mets, as they finished fourth in the division and had a record of 26-34. But with the recent trade that the New York Mets have made with Cleveland, the 2021 New York Mets have the potential to win the National League East Division.
There was a lot of speculation around Francisco Lindor’s eventual destination, but it is now confirmed that the Mets have acquired Lindor along with Carlos Carrasco for Andres Gimenez, Amed Rosario, Josh Wolf, and Isaiah Greene.
For this article, I will focus on the potential impact of Francisco Lindor. Lindor is a dream signing due to his age and his performance on both offense and defense. He had a rough season for his standards in 2020, only batting .258 with eight home runs on the offensive side. But if we look at his last complete season in 2019, Lindor was .284 with 32 homers, an all-star selection, and a gold glove award.
2021 New York Mets Adding Mr. Smile
Lindor has the power to hit 40 home runs in a season with the Mets, as he already hit 38 homers in 2018, and his potential has probably not been reached yet since he is only 27 years old. Also, when looking at the shortstop rankings in various statistical categories since 2015, Lindor is close to the top in most of them. Since 2015 among shortstops, Lindor is 2nd in home runs and runs, 3rd in RBIs, 5th in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Therefore, it is clear that Lindor has established himself as a premier shortstop in Major League Baseball.
To appreciate how much value a player such as Lindor can provide for a franchise, we can look at his offensive and defensive wins above replacement (oWAR and dWAR) for the 2018 MLB season. For that season, Lindor had a 6.4 oWAR and a 2.4 dWAR. For that same 2018 season, Amed Rosario had an oWAR of 2.2 and a dWAR of -1.0, so having Lindor instead of Rosario in 2018 could have resulted in about 7.6 more wins.
On the defensive side, Lindor had an almost perfect 2020 season. In 508 innings, Lindor committed only one error and had a fielding rate of 99.5%. Since 2015, among shortstops, Lindor is ranked 2nd in double play runs and dWAR. In addition to 3rd in out of zone plays runs prevented, and outs above average.
Overall, the Mets front office should be proud of themselves for acquiring such a talented player who has the potential to be the Mets franchise leader of the decade. For the 2021 New York Mets season, Francisco Lindor balances out the Mets lefty-heavy lineup since Lindor can be useful from both sides of the plate as a switch hitter. To clarify that last point, Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith, Brandon Nimmo, and Jeff Mcneil are all left-handed batters, so adding a switch-hitting Lindor improves the overall versatility of the offensive lineup.
If the Mets are willing and have the ability to sign Lindor to a long-term deal, he will probably get somewhere close to a ten- year/350 million dollar offer, as estimated by the New York Post.
2021 Mets Outlook
As Lindor ages, hopefully as a Met, his defense will slightly decline, but he is so good at fielding his position right now that it is not too concerning. The Mets took advantage of this trade because Rosario and Gimenez may not have started for the 2021 New York Mets, and the prospects that they gave up were not their highest ranked. Now, the Mets are serious contenders to win the NL East after obtaining Carrasco and Lindor, and Mets fans should start to anticipate a magical 2021 New York Mets season.
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