By acquiring Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco, the New York Mets are pushing more chips to the center of the table. Time for Mike Rizzo to ante up.
Contrary to what MLB.com posted in their power rankings, I do not believe the Nationals are the worst team in the National League East. I would have ranked them ahead of the New York Mets for sure. The trade that went down today, has altered this perspective.
Add James McCann and Trevor May to the mix and the Mets have gotten a whole lot better since last season. What’s more, is the Mets and their deep pocketed new owner could be in line for further additions.
At one point this offseason the George Springer derby was down to two teams, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Mets. By acquiring Carrasco this could mean the team is out on Trevor Bauer, whom they had interest in as well.
Where does this leave the Nationals and general manager Mike Rizzo?
The Josh Bell trade was never a means to an end, and the need for additional pieces has now been exemplified. In a previous piece, I quoted Ken Rosenthal who opined Marcell Ozuna may be too expensive for the Nationals. With the move the Mets just made, this should cause the Nationals to dig a little deeper in those couch cushions.
Not only is another bat a must, another arm for the rotation just became more important as well. Rizzo needs to be given the financial flexibility to bring in a couple pieces even if he has to pay a little bit more for them. Max Scherzer and at least another $20M (Starlin Castro, Daniel Hudson, Yan Gomes, Josh Harrison) are coming off the books next year.
Time to go all in and spend some money. As much as the Lerner Family does not want to pay a luxury tax, if they did so this year and things didn’t work out, they could get well under next year. As the Nationals team of 2019 taught us, all you need is a seat at the table. The Nationals should be focusing on a playoff push this year.
The Josh Bell move means the Nationals are serious about being more competitive this year. Paying Marcell Ozuna and Jake Odorizzi means the Nationals are serious about competing with the best teams in the division.
With the Nationals already at a crossroads, this Francisco Lindor move has just put the ball in the Nationals court. What say you Mike Rizzo?