New York Mets: Cleveland intends to trade Lindor before Opening Day, per report

Andres Chavez
New York Yankees, Mets, Francisco Lindor
Sep 20, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) smiles at the dugout between innings against the Philadelphia Phillies at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Attention, New York Mets‘ fans: a very enticing trade target just became publicly available, according to the latest reports. And it is a game-changing talent, an All-Star shortstop that is excellent in the batter’s box, in the field, and also in the basepaths.

According to Bob Nightengale, the Cleveland Indians are making shortstop Francisco Lindor available for trade and, in fact, want to complete a transaction before Opening Day comes along in 2021. I’ve said the New York Mets should instead target young starting pitching via trade, but it wouldn’t hurt to know what the Tribe wants in return for a player with only one year away from free agency.

“Cleveland, strapped for money, intend to trade All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor by opening day, several rival teams have been informed. Lindor earned $17.5 million last season and is projected to earn about $21 million in salary arbitration in his final year before free agency,” Nightengale wrote in his Twitter account.

As you can recall, the Mets now belong to hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen, a lifelong fan of the team with big pockets to spend. Although the idea is to spend carefully, at least at first, the Mets should kick the tires and consider an approach if an extension can be signed after acquiring Lindor.

Is Lindor a fit with the Mets?

Lindor will turn 27 this month, and is still in his prime. For his career, he has a .285/.346/.488 line with a .351 wOBA and a 118 wRC+. He is among the very best defensive shortstop in the game right now and there are several ways in which he can impact a game. He has power (he averaged more than 30 homers from 2017 to 2019) and speed, not to mention great hand-eye coordination and bat-to-ball skills.

Lindor is a charismatic leader that could be the face of the new Mets, but it would all depend on the price. They shouldn’t mortgage their future with more top prospects, after emptying the farm in the Marcus Stroman, Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz deals.