Right or wrong, Red Sox fans have been fending off a least a little jealousy when peering over at the Mets.
They were the ones taking on the salary and reeling in the superstars. They were the ones vying for the likes of Francisco Lindor.
Times have changed, as we found out Thursday afternoon.
The Mets pulled off the second blockbuster of the offseason, basically executing the same sort of trade the Dodgers managed a year ago when taking Mookie Betts and David Price from the Red Sox.
This time New York secured the services of star shortstop Francisco Lindor and proven starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco in exchange for a solid-yet-unspectacular shortstop (Amed Rosario) a 21-year-old infielder with one season of big league experience (Andres Gimenez) and two prospects (pitcher Josh Wolf, outfielder Isaiah Greene).
Lindor has one more season before hitting free agency, while Carrasco is owed $27 Million through the 2022 season. You know the drill.
The deal isn't a surprise, as was the case last January with Betts. In the Red Sox case a year ago everyone understood the impetus was to get below the luxury tax while not rolling the dice that they would get nothing when their outfielder rode out the final year of his deal. The Indians? Like the majority of baseball, finding financial freedom with during these pandemic-induced uncertain economic times is the priority.
The Mets are what every fan base (including the one belonging to the Red Sox) want their team to be, the one whose approach isn't all that complicated: Pluck off the best players while other clubs are worrying about spreadsheets.
These Red Sox bear no resemblance to the organization that paid for David Price and Nathan Eovaldi while allocating whatever minor-leaguers were needed to get the likes of Craig Kimbrel and Chris Sale.
When it came to deals involving players like Lindor or Blake Snell, the Red Sox were always in the mix. Not this time around.
The combination of attempting to emulate the early Andrew Friedman days in Los Angeles, along with an uneasiness when it comes to their overall fan-less business model has left the Red Sox somewhere in between the Indians and the Mets.
Just listen to Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom when talking on WEEI about the Snell trade:
"When you look at the amount of talent that came back for Blake and the length of time over which that talent can impact the Rays, that’s exactly the sort of deal, given the cost and given the price tag, that would not make sense for where we’re positioned right now," Bloom explained.
"I think it would put us further behind in our goal to win as many championships as we can over the (long-term)."
We could dare to dream for a while, particularly when thinking about the possible pitch Alex Cora could send the way of Lindor -- the shortstop on his Puerto Rican World Baseball Classic team.
The trade would have been a great fit for the Red Sox, assuming Lindor could be shifted to second base and the 33-year-old Carrasco could stay healthy. (He did manage a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts last season.)
But alas, until the farm system is built back up a bit and the turnstiles start humming, such conversations are probably pipe dreams.
The Red Sox weren't desperate for Lindor and Carrasco, still having enough high-priced pieces to suggest this isn't Cleveland. But, admit it, there is something about being in the same sort of shoes the Mets are currently walking in.
Those were the days.