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EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

10 ways the Francisco Lindor trade to the New York Mets impacts MLB

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Passan: Lindor trade shows Mets are all-in on winning championship (2:21)

Jeff Passan breaks down the trade sending Francisco Lindor to the Mets from Cleveland and how that shapes New York to become the best team in the NL East. (2:21)

It's hard to concoct a more perfect baseball union in 2021 than Francisco Lindor and Steve Cohen's New York Mets.

The team needs a long-term solution at shortstop, someone who plays high-end defense.

Check.

The Mets need more lineup balance.

Done. Lindor's a switch-hitter who hits with power on both sides of the plate.

The Mets could use a star fit for the biggest market.

Lindor's smile -- hell, his nickname is Mr. Smile -- and personality are perfect for New York. He's eligible for free agency next fall, but longtime agents have been saying that the greatest leverage any player could have in this era is actually in the winter before reaching the open market, and that might especially be true in Lindor's case because of the historically great class of free-agent shortstops next fall. It might be better for Lindor to make his best deal now, as Mookie Betts did with the Dodgers last summer, rather than competing for dollars with Corey Seager, Javier Baez, Trevor Story and Carlos Correa.

The Lindor trade sets off dominoes in lots of directions: