This past offseason saw the New York Mets pull off the biggest trade in baseball, as the team with new owner Steve Cohen made a deal with his front office with the Cleveland Indians, snagging shortstop Francisco Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco for mostly prospects.
Lindor’s impending trade was no shock at all to the people in Cleveland who were just waiting for the team to eventually move him.
He was entering his last year of being under team control and it seemed like a no-brainer that come next season he would have left.
The Indians do what they always seem to do when it comes to players that are on the verge of being free to go elsewhere – they took what they could and they traded him.
Lindor is a player that some think is going to be the face of baseball for years to come. He’s only 27 years old, and he’s been an All-Star in four of his six seasons in the Majors.
Known as “Mr. Smile,” Lindor is part of the new breed of players that could define the game for decades to come if he’s healthy.
How much respect does Lindor have at the young age of 27? The New York Posts’ Joel Sherman has Lindor listed at number one of the “50 most interesting people in baseball,” pretty high regard honestly for a player who has only played six years in the Majors, but it also can show fans how the move to New York can put Lindor’s exposure at an entirely different level.
Here’s what Sherman says about Lindor’s number one rank as the game’s most interesting player.
“Let’s start with joy.
Let’s start with Francisco Lindor. Because why not begin with someone whose nickname is Mr. Smile?
You don’t have to ask Lindor if he loves baseball. Just watch him play. In fact, this year, watch him play on a far grander stage. Think of Cleveland as Off-Broadway, the place where he learned and was beloved and helped lift a team without a title since 1948 to at least an AL championship in 2016. But it was a place in which his star had limitations.
There is no such lid in New York. If he can handle what he has dreamed of having — you know, beware of what you wish for, at least sometimes — Lindor can be the face of the Mets. Heck, he can be a face of baseball. It is not since 1948, like the Indians. But the Mets have no title since 1986.
The Mets have a new owner in Steve Cohen. So they have a new avenue — one lined with billions of dollars — to pursue the Yankees in New York and to pursue the rest of the sport, writ large. Lindor is the first stake in the ground of this administration screaming it is a new day. And, at a time when we need it in baseball and life, Lindor is joy.”
We shall see if Lindor’s 2021 season is better than his somewhat disappointing 2020 in which he hit just .258, with 8 homers and 27 runs batted in, and at times for the AL Central champion Indians had his share of struggles.
Maybe New York and all it has to offer will be a better fit for Lindor, but we’ve also seen over the years how the “Big Apple” has swallowed up players.
It remains to be seen which way it falls for Lindor. Will he remain as the most “interesting” player in the game?
Or will it be a one and done before the shortstop looks to cash in to play elsewhere in 2022 and beyond?