The annual FanSided MLB experts Winter Meetings sim began Thursday and the St. Louis Cardinals have already completed one big trade.
Let me first reiterate that this is NOT an actual trade that happened. The move I am referencing was facilitated by myself as I act as the GM of the St. Louis Cardinals for this year’s MLB division Winter Meetings simulation. If you don’t know what that is, there are websites like this one for each MLB team and for the past three years, the people who run those sites have gotten together to do a faux Winter Meetings.
As an acting GM you have to act within the scope of reality as far as salary which means I had to act with a cap of $160M because John Mozeliak said earlier in the offseason that he wants to keep the salary about the same in 2020.
Coming in with a current salary of $153 million, that didn’t leave me with much room to work with. That didn’t mean I couldn’t get creative though.
On the first day of the simulation, It was actually the Indians GM that came to me. He wanted to know if the Cardinals were interested in Fransisco Lindor. To this, I answered with an immediate yes.
In 2019, Lindor hit for a .284/.335/.518 slash line with 32 homers and 74 RBIs while scoring over 100 runs and stealing 22 bases. This has been right around his career average and it shows how he really is the whole package.
This deal immediately felt like a win for the Cardinals as they get the best shortstop in the American League for two players who were below average offensively in 2019 and a career minor leaguer.
The only problem in agreeing to this deal was Lindor’s salary. Right now, he is projected to make $16.7M in arbitration for 2020. Subtracting the total $4.29M in player salaries of the three players sent back to Cleveland, and the Cardinals’ salary was all of the sudden at $164M.
When the team cut Dominic Leone, it cut that number to $162M (acceptable place to finish at) but still, it seems like there will be nothing else I can do for the duration of the simulation if the salary isn’t cut.
In all though, the Indians fulfilled their goal of cutting their own salary and getting value back for a player who they themselves have said they won’t be able to resign. On our side, we get a player who has been an All-Star in every year except for his first and has won two Gold-Gloves. Not bad.
It would make me sad to see DeJong and Martinez go, but there’s no doubt that Lindor is an upgrade over DeJong and JMart has always been a DH on a National League team. This will be a good move for both of them as Cleveland is still a contender.
The simulation still goes on until Saturday Night and there are moves that can still be made. The only stipulation moving forward is that I will have to figure out how to cut salary or match it in any trade. Also, let me be the first to say that yes, I’ve tried… Nobody wants the contracts attached to Dexter Fowler or Matt Carpenter.