CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 19: Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians runs out a double during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field on September 19, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio.
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The New York Mets’ are looking to upgrade the roster, but won’t entertain Francisco Lindor if Jeff McNeil is involved. 

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, The New York Mets expressed interest in trading for Francisco Lindor. The Cleveland Indians are said to be looking to move their star shortstop. They reportedly want to clear salary off the books after failing to make the playoffs in 2019.

Rosenthal reports that the Mets backed out of the bidding war after the price got too high. According to Tim Healey of Newsday, the Indians repeatedly asked the Mets for Jeff McNeil.

McNeil proved to be too high a price and it’s easy to see why. Last season McNeil was worth 5 rWAR and 4.6 fWAR, while Lindor was worth 4.7 rWAR and 4.4 fWAR.

They were very similar players in value. Considering the Indians likely wanted McNeil plus for Lindor, it’s clear to see why the Mets turned them down.

That’s before even getting into contract discussions. McNeil has five more years under team control. He’s not even arbitration-eligible yet. He’s making the least a major leaguer can make. Lindor, on the other hand, only has two years of control and is set to make $16.7 million this season. The Mets can’t afford to take that kind of money on.

None of this is to say that McNeil is better or on Lindor’s status. Lindor is one of the elite shortstops in baseball. He is a perennial MVP candidate and McNeil has only one full season under his belt.

That said, with a cash strapped team like the Mets they need cheap contracts to extend their window. That makes players like McNeil invaluable to their success.

The Mets will leave the Lindor bidding to the big spenders. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Los Angeles Dodgers are the favorites to complete a trade.

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