When the New York Mets traded for Francisco Lindor, the conversation quickly shifted to their “rivalry” with the New York Yankees and how it would reinvigorate the city.
But then came Mets fans thinking they have a “leg up” on the Bombers because they now have the best starting pitcher and shortstop in baseball. That may be true, but this isn’t the NBA. You need an entire team of stars/productive players to be successful. Just ask Mike Trout.
Another storyline that may have flown under the radar is Gleyber Torres — who’s dealing with enough pressure heading into 2021 — being hit with potential comparisons to Lindor.
After shaking off the criticism from general manager Brian Cashman and hearing enough of the “is he the shortstop of the future?” nonsense, Torres is focusing on himself and himself only.
ESPN’s Marly Rivera asked him about any discourse focusing on him and Lindor, and he had a spot-on diplomatic response.
Championships are all that matter, right? Yeah, Torres gets how things work in New York … at least on the right side of the river.
If Torres can put forth an impressive defensive campaign and once again be an integral postseason cog in the Yankees’ machine, perhaps we won’t have to hear any more of the Lindor-to-the-Bronx rumors that popped up recently when the stalled contract negotiations with the Mets surfaced.
Lindor can keep his title as the best shortstop in the game for 2021 because it won’t matter unless the Mets manage to win the NL East or make a playoff run. The Yankees have one of the best top-to-bottom teams in the league — with well-documented championship aspirations — so as long as Torres rights the ship and does what he’s supposed to, it’ll make all the difference and turn this “conversation” to dust.
And is this really even a fair comparison? Torres has played in just 309 career games across his first three seasons and got two All-Star nods. And now he’s undergoing a position switch after playing second base for much of his first two years.
Lindor has three more years under his belt and has been a perennial MVP candidate. Give Torres three more full years at shortstop and his body of work could be comparable if he burnishes his glove work. We’re not saying that will happen, but Torres’ talent suggests it could if he reaches his ceiling.
Either way, it doesn’t matter. Torres wants a ring, not a fake regular-season award.