Back in December, the Mets talked to the Indians about a potential trade for superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor, whose acquisition would've sent shock waves through Queens.
The Mets reportedly broke off talks when they deemed the price too high, and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Friday what the asking price would have been from Cleveland.
According to Rosenthal, the Mets "aggressively" tried to trade for Lindor during the Winter Meetings -- with that dialogue first reported by SNYs Andy Martino -- and that the price would have likely been Amed Rosario and two top prospects.
The identity of those two prospects (or whether Cleveland even focused on two specific prospects) isn't known, but it's logical to think they would've come from a group including Ronny Mauricio, Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, Matthew Allan, and Andres Gimenez, who are considered by most to be the top 5 prospects in the Mets organization.
Tim Healey of Newsday reported on Dec. 20 that the Indians "repeatedly" asked for Jeff McNeil as part of the potential Lindor package. It's unclear whether that reported ask changed to Rosario and two top prospects after the Mets refused to trade McNeil.
Martino noted at the time that the talks the Mets had with the Indians about Lindor were similar to ones they had with the Astros regarding Carlos Correa. Basically, the Mets will look into every big name available to explore whether or not it's possible to find a fit.
When it comes to the reported Indians ask of Rosario and "two top prospects," it's hard to say whether or not the Mets did the right thing to pass when the identities of those two top prospects aren't known.
For example, if it was Gimenez (generally thought of as a much lower-ceiling prospect than the other top five prospects) plus one other prospect, it would've likely been palatable.
But if it was something like Rosario plus Allan plus Alvarez, it would've been much easier for the Mets to walk away.
There's also the money and team control factor.
The 26-year-old Lindor will make $17.5 million in 2020 before almost certainly getting a raise in 2021 during what is his final year of arbitration. Barring an extension, he will then be eligible for free agency.
Arguably more important than the money aspect is the control aspect.
In a world where the Mets traded Rosario (and his four years of team control) along with two of their top prospects for just two years of a relatively expensive Lindor, it's fair to wonder whether the Mets would've been better off in the long run even when you factor in Lindor's immense talent.
With the Indians perhaps still intent on trading Lindor, these talks could reignite again during this season or the offseason, when the price would conceivably be lower due to Lindor being even closer to free agency.