The trade marks the first major move by the Mets since owner Steve Cohen completed his purchase of the franchise last year. Cohen bought the Mets on Nov. 6 from the Wilpon and Katz families and pledged to increase spending.
The Indians save significant 2021 payroll in parting with Lindor ($19.5 million) and Carrasco ($12 million).
Since his MLB debut in 2015, Lindor ranks first among all shortstops in WAR (28.4), home runs (138) and extra-base hits, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
He also ranks second in RBIs (411) and runs (508), and fifth in OPS (.835) and slugging (.485), while batting .285. At 27, Lindor has earned four All-Star nods, two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers to go with a World Series appearance in 2016 and a second-place finish in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2015.
Once Cleveland’s pandemic-shortened 2020 season ended with a loss to the New York Yankees in the wild-card round, it became a matter of when, and not if, Lindor would be traded.
Cleveland had run out of options. Lindor has turned down numerous long-term contract offers from the cash-strapped franchise, betting on himself and knowing he could get more money from a major-market team when he becomes a free agent.
He is under contract only through the 2021 season, so the Mets will have to quickly get to work on signing him long-term.
The Indians made it known that Lindor was available for the right price. And while it’s never easy to trade a generational talent with perhaps his best years still ahead of him, Cleveland’s financial situation was never going to make it possible to keep him.
Cohen is hoping to turn around a franchise that has not won a World Series since 1986.
Cohen fired general manager Brodie Van Wagenen and brought back former GM Sandy Alderson as team president and hired Jared Porter from Arizona as GM under Alderson.
Increasing spending, the Mets kept pitcher Marcus Stroman for an $18.9 million qualifying offer, signed right-hander Trevor May to a $15.5 million, two-year contract, and signed catcher James McCann to a $40.6 million, four-year deal. New York also signed injured right-hander Noah Syndergaard to a $9.7 million, one-year deal.
Carrasco, 33, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2019 and returned that same season, becoming the AL Comeback Player of the Year. He was seventh in the AL with a 2.91 ERA over 12 starts last season and was sixth with 82 strikeouts in 68.0 innings
Carrasco is 88-73 with a 3.77 ERA and 1,305 strikeouts in 242 games during his 11-year career with Cleveland.
Rosario, 25, hit .268 with 32 homers and 148 RBIs in 403 games with the Mets from 2017 to ’20.
Gimenez, 22, batted .263 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 49 games last year.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.