And to further darken your Saturday: shortstop Amed Rosario and second baseman Andres Gimenez are starting for the Guardians in the American League Division Series against the Bombers.
You remember them, right? The Mets sent both infielders (and two minor leaguers) to Cleveland back in January 2021 for shortstop Francisco Lindor and right-hander Carlos Carrasco. Now Gimenez is an All-Star while Rosario hit a game-tying home run in the top of the fifth in Friday’s Game 2 win. All while Lindor and the Mets are off to the golf course.
WFAN Sports Radio host and famed Mets fan Joe Benigno is unhappy, expressing regret for that 2021 trade.
“I never wanted to make that trade to begin with, for Lindor. I would’ve never traded these two kids — Gimenez and Rosario — for Lindor. Absolutely would have never done it,” Benigno said Saturday on WFAN’s “Evan and Joe” program with Evan Roberts. “They compounded it by throwing [$34.1 million] a year at the guy, [$341 million] for 10 years. He’s a nice player, Lindor. I give him credit. He played 161 games this year. He’s a very good defensive player. I know he drove in 107 runs. But he had a lot of lapses offensively during the year. And there were a lot of big spots, especially in September when a big hit here or there might’ve made a difference in them winning the division…where he didn’t come through.”
“So I didn’t like that trade to begin with. And I’m watching [Gimenez and Rosario] play and I’m like, you gotta be kidding me.”
It’s easy for Benigno to be upset, sure. And it’s easy to crush the trade now. The Mets just choked away their season less than a week ago while the Guardians are two wins away from the American League Championship Series. This could be blinded pessimism and Benigno might think differently on the subject a year from now (unless the Guardians win the World Series, of course).
But it’s interesting to ponder what could’ve been if the Mets didn’t trade for Lindor and kept Rosario and Gimenez, as the latter was just coming off a solid 2020 rookie season at the time of the trade. In 49 games (during the 60-game pandemic season), Gimenez hit .263 with three home runs and 12 RBI. This year, he was an All-Star and hit .297, while Lindor has yet to play in the Midsummer Classic as a Met and underperformed in 2021.
Whether this was a beneficial trade for the Mets cannot officially be answered for years. It certainly can’t be answered now. The 26-year-old Rosario and 24-year-old Gimenez could be staples on this Guardians roster for years while Lindor is signed with the Mets through 2031. Lindor and the Mets could bounce back and win multiple titles while Cleveland craps out, or vice versa.
But it’s important to remember the Mets made the trade in hopes of becoming late-October contenders. And two years in, they’ve yet to reach that big stage.