Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

In acquiring ‘Mr. Smile’ Francisco Lindor, the Mets land the Latino superstar Steve Cohen needs… as I told you they should

Puerto Rico’s Francisco Lindor will fit right in in New York City.
Puerto Rico’s Francisco Lindor will fit right in in New York City.
Image: Getty Images

Last month I wrote about why the New York Mets needed to trade for Francisco Lindor in order to achieve Steve Cohen’s immediate promises.

First reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan, and later confirmed and expanded by multiple sources, the Mets not only landed Lindor, but also acquired pitcher Carlos Carrasco, in a move that will send back a package led by middle infielder Andrés Giménez.

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ESPN’s Buster Olney adds that the expectation is for the Mets to extend Lindor, shades of what the Los Angeles Dodgers did with Mookie Betts last offseason.

And Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports soon after reported the full deal, including Mets shortstop Amed Rosario.

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In completing this deal, the Mets have partnered with the best Puerto Rican athlete across major sports today, in a market housing the most stateside Boricuas in America. New York is historically a melting pot of true diversity, but that’s always been headlined, at least partly, by the Latino families who migrated to the city many years ago, a lot of whom were Puerto Ricans.

Boricuas in this market (and in general) are incredibly supportive of their own. It’s why fighters Felix Trinidad and Miguel Cotto gradually made Madison Square Garden their home base. It’s why Cotto often fought before the Puerto Rican Day Parade and showed up with his world championship the day of the city-wide fiesta. It’s why Top Rank Boxing attempted to showcase Felix Verdejo in New York City when he was still believed to be a future star. It’s why Mets fans rallied behind Carlos Beltrán and Carlos Delgado, who were among the most beloved Mets of the past 20 years. Carmelo Anthony recognized that; why do you think he’s grown more in touch with his Puerto Rican roots as he’s matured?

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It’s a trend that will only heighten with Lindor, who arrives as an elite all-around player. He also just turned 27 in November, and with a likely extension, Lindor’s prime will be spent in Queens. Thanks to Robinson Cano’s season-long suspension, the Mets will also play Jeff McNeil at second base every day, and dealing Giménez and Rosario clears the way for Lindor at SS.

Beyond being the best Puerto Rican athlete in Major League Baseball, Lindor becomes a Met after having finished as a Top 10 MVP candidate in three of his last four seasons, until he finished 15th in the abbreviated 2020 campaign. He also plays the sport’s marquee defensive position at shortstop, and is one of the most marketable athletes in a sport dying for mainstream visibility. It’s as much of a brilliant business move as it is a smart baseball transaction. His nickname is Mr. Smile, after all.

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Plus, Cohen’s wife is Puerto Rican. Don’t you think he gets it?

Host: Ain't Hard To Tell Podcast (@AHTTPodcast) | Founder: Side Hustle, digital series | 18x Film Festival Selectee | Award-Winning Content Creator | Video Game player | Puerto Rican |

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