Trade rumors: Cleveland Indians asking price for Lindor too high for Mets

Trade talks between the Cleveland Indians and New York Mets got pretty serious surrounding Francisco Lindor. Here’s why the deal fell apart.

The New York Mets had aggressive trade talks with the Cleveland Indians, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

The deal was centered around Mets prospect, shortstop Amed Rosario, who has four years of team control remaining. The Indians were also looking to add two more top prospects, according to Rosenthal.

The asking price was too high for the Mets, considering the shortstop is due to earn around $40-$45 million over the next two seasons through arbitration.

Rosario is a promising young talent, but Lindor would’ve been a huge upgrade for New York. The 24-year-old Rosario posted a 1.8 WAR last season, batting .287 with a .755 OPS. He hit 15 homers and drove in 72 RBIs.

The Mets top prospect is a shortstop named Ronny Mauricio, who just finished his first season playing in the Low-A South Atlantic League. By the time Rosario is ready to hit the free-agent market, Mauricio should be waiting in the wings.

Had New York sold to Steve Cohen, spending probably wouldn’t have been an issue. But, since the deal fell through, who knows what the future holds for New York’s expenses. They’re a big market team, but they don’t spend nearly as much as the Yankees.

It’s all perspective. The Mets are on pace to open the season with a $183.3 million payroll. It’s the highest payroll in club history by $25 million (Indians fans would love their owns to pony up a payroll around $150 million!) It looks like the Wilpons didn’t want to tack anything onto their already record breaking number for 2020.

Another connection of note with the Mets that kind of flew under the radar–The Indians reportedly asked for Jeff McNeil in a trade for Lindor, but that proposal was a “non-starter” for the Mets, according to NewsDay’s Tim Healy.

You can understand why the Indians would want McNeil. He plays both corner outfield spots, as well as second and third base. He was an All-Star last season and ended his second year in the big leagues batting .318 (.916 OPS) with 23 bombs and 75 RBIs.

Oh yeah, he’s 27, won’t be arbitration eligible until 2022 and can’t be a free agent until 2025.

Next: 3 OFs to target in a trade before Spring Training

Now, just 12 days before the Indians open the Cactus League against the Reds, Lindor is still on the team as the Tribe seems to think it can hang with the Twins and White Sox in the AL Central.

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