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Thursday was an emotional day for the Cleveland Indians, but not a surprising one. The team has finally traded shortstop Francisco Lindor to the New York Mets in a deal that also included pitcher Carlos Carrasco.
The move has been in the works for some time, as Lindor is set to hit the free agent market after the 2021 season. Lindor has also basically said he would not come back to the Indians, who can’t afford him anyway.
Indians team president Chris Antonetti said to reporters on Thursday that things got so emotional when speaking to Lindor and Carrasco that they all shed tears.
“I was in tears in the conversations with Carlos and Francisco. I think they were, as well, because we care about each other, and they’re special people in addition to special players,” Antonetti said via Indians.com
“Trades like this are really, really hard to make. But at the same time, we feel it’s the right thing to do for us.”
The trade to the Mets ends a long, drawn out process that began two years ago when rumors started to circulate that the Indians wouldn’t be able to afford Lindor, one of the biggest names in the game. Lindor is 27 years old with four All-Star game appearances in six seasons.
“Really, from the day Francisco arrived in the Major Leagues, he’s been part of successful, championship teams,” Antonetti said.
“And Carlos has developed into one of the most effective, even if underrated starters in the American League. Without both of their contributions, I’m not sure we would have had the success we’ve had over the course of the last eight years.”
The Indians haul back to the team four players who they hope can help them build some sort of foundation for the future: INF Andrés Giménez, INF Amed Rosario, OF Isaiah Greene and RHP Josh Wolf.
Per usual though, it’s just another example of a mid-market team not being able to afford a homegrown player. Such players should be able to stay long-term with the franchise they grew up supporting.