morning afternoon evening, Athletics Nation!
Sorry for the break in content the last couple days. The rest of the world has been a bit distracting, and it’s been tough to focus on sports — and what little attention I’ve had to offer has gone to the Warriors, as I’ve been helping out at Golden State of Mind too. Meanwhile, the latest baseball news has been a small-market team dumping its franchise player, and another Hall of Famer passing away.
Now let’s get back to it!
MLB got its biggest move of the offseason so far, as the New York Mets swung a blockbuster trade to acquire shortstop Francisco Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco from the Cleveland Indians.
The Indians received four players in return — young middle infielders Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez, pitching prospect Josh Wolf and outfield prospect Isaiah Greene. The infielders (ages 25 an 22) have each enjoyed stints of MLB success, while the prospects are 2nd-round draft picks from the last two years.
For the Mets, this is a massive upgrade to their roster, and the first huge splash by new team owner Steve Cohen. Lindor is a superstar, who has received MVP votes in each of the last four seasons and finished as high as fifth in 2017. He’s a switch-hitting shortstop with two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers on his resume, and he’s only beginning his prime at age 27. However, this is his final summer before free agency, and his arbitration price tag will run in the neighborhood of $20 million.
Carrasco is also a star, and in 2020 he returned from a cancer diagnosis to post excellent numbers in the short season. “Cookie” has been a consistently above-average starter since 2014, with monster strikeout rates each year and a 4th-place Cy Young finish in 2017. He’s signed for 2021-22 at $12 million each, with an option for 2023, and he’ll join Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman in New York’s rotation.
The Indians save $32 million in salary for the coming season, but at the expense of two players who were wildly, almost indescribably popular in Cleveland. SB Nation site Let’s Go Tribe is not happy about seeing a perennial postseason contender torn down prematurely to save a quick buck, and is especially upset about Cookie being sent away. That said, in terms of pure value it’s a fairly even swap, with Gimenez as the headliner, despite Cleveland’s lack of leverage since everyone already assumed they’d need to dump the pricey Lindor.
This is also an ominous moment for Oakland A’s fans. There’s no specific indication that they’re planning to trade away any young stars this winter, and in fact it would make almost no sense to do so at this moment based on where everybody’s value is at after last season. Buuut, this is totally the kind of thing the A’s do every few years, and we know it’ll happen again to us someday — hopefully later than sooner.
- Lockard: Here are the A’s top candidates to fill Robbie Grossman’s role ($$$)
- Espinoza: Why Lamb, A’s should consider a one-year contract
MLB News & Interest
- AN: Tommy Lasorda, Hall of Fame manager, dies at 93
- Davies (Let’s Go Tribe): Our favorite team does not love us
- Meisel: Francisco Lindor was everything Cleveland could have imagined — and more ($$$)
- Yellon (Bleed Cubbie Blue): Cubs sign OF Nick Martini to a minor-league deal
- Franco: Diamondbacks To Sign Seth Frankoff To Minor-League Deal
- Rosenthal: MLB bracing for a reduction in TV rights fees in pending ESPN deal ($$$)
- Sarris: ‘Almost everyone is using something’: Getting a grip on how MLB pitchers are cheating ($$$)
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter
Yikes, is there anything the Angels aren’t bad at?
In today's newsletter I talk about the lawsuit from the former Angels' clubbie. Yesterday he released a text from Gerrit Cole asking for foreign substances.— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) January 8, 2021
If you're gonna single out a guy for firing, make sure he doesn't have dirt, guys. https://t.co/cuadZgwJDo pic.twitter.com/suJftUDC1y
Paint those corners green and gold
Another notable offseason move! Of that total guaranteed money, $3 million is a buyout for a 2022 option.
hear that Schwarber deal is for 1 yr and $10M with the #Nationals— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 9, 2021
Thank you Mets for taking Drury out of the AL where he can’t hurt us anymore (career vs. A’s, in 8 games: .387/.441/.871, 4 HR, 3 doubles, 8 RBI)
Free-agent infielder Brandon Drury has signed a minor-league deal with the Mets, sources tell The Athletic. His final season with the DBacks in 2017 was Mets GM Jared Porter’s first with that club.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 8, 2021
Another cheap pitcher off the board
Jhoulys Chacin Yankees deal: $800K guaranteed plus $200K in incentives. Outside chance Rep 1 agency has 4 in Yankees rotation: Luis Severino, Domingo German, Deivi Garcia and Chacin. Yankees are still looking for another proven starter for the rotation led by Gerrit Cole.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 8, 2021
And another ... and Cole was one of my favorites on the open market
One free agent didn’t find a home in the majors, though
Right-hander Tomoyuki Sugano has reached a four-year, $40M deal to return to the Yomiuri Giants, source tells The Athletic. As previously reported, the deal includes three opt-outs.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 8, 2021
Make that two
SPOTV reports that OF Sung-Bum Na could not land a deal with an MLB team. He will be back with the NC Dinos in 2021. https://t.co/mnCe5uhdaE— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) January 9, 2021
Giants trade a current righty reliever for a future righty reliever
Sources tell @JeffPassan and I: the Giants have traded RHP Sam Coonrod to the Phillies in a deal for RHP Carson Ragsdale— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) January 9, 2021
Watch your back, Pat Venditte (better check over both shoulders just to be safe)