The New York Mets have been looking for a superstar for years. They have one in Francisco Lindor now, and the big question on everyone’s mind is: Is he going to sign a long-term contract with the Mets?
Lindor, who is entitled to free agency after the 2021 season, said in a video call on Monday that he is certainly open to discussing a deal.
For all these fans, I live life day to day. I’m very happy and excited about what’s going on now, but I haven’t talked to anyone yet, he said. Yes, I’ve had some inviting calls already and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve never been against overtime. I’ve never been against signing long-term contracts. I’m sure my agent will be in talks with the Mets Group.
Lindor, 27, has already spoken with owner Steve Cohen, team president Sandy Alderson and general manager Jared Porter. If both parties go ahead with the expansion, it will likely have to take place before opening day.
I never negotiated a contract during the season, he said. Never. I’ve always said for spring training, but when spring training is over, it’s time to enjoy the ride and focus on winning, and that’s all I need to focus on, not how much money I’m going to get.
Alderson said last week that the Mets have not yet spoken with Lindor’s agent, David Metera, but said the goal is to keep Lindor in a Mets uniform. We acquired Francisco because of his current skill set and the potential for him to be a Met over the long term, Alderson said. There are no guarantees. We’ll come back to that in the coming weeks.
Lindor likely gives the Mets their first franchise player since the heyday of David Wright a decade ago. He has three MVPs in his career – like all Mets players combined over the past 12 seasons (Pete Alonso is seventh in 2019, Yoenis Cespedes is eighth in 2016 and Wright is sixth in 2012). The last player named in the top 10 MVPs was Wright in 2007 and 2008. Lindor improves the midfield defense, a key offseason target for Alderson and Porter. Over the past three seasons, the Mets have ranked 28th in the majors in defensive shortstop insured races; Lindor has ranked 5th in shortstop during this time.
Error! The file name is not specified. Francisco Lindor, thesuperstar, is eligible for free agency after the 2021 season, but he said he was open to the possibility of discussing a long-term deal with the Mets. New York Mets via AP
The largest contract ever awarded by the Mets was a $138 million contract extension that Wright signed after 2012. Jacob deGrom enters the third season of his $137.5 million five-year extension. It will cost a lot more than signing Lindor, but the Mets now have an owner with deep pockets in Cohen. A similar deal might be the $365 million, 12-year contract Mookie Betts signed with the Dodgers last summer, giving up his own free agency.
Mookie was in an ideal situation and felt comfortable with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He made a decision that was best for him and his family, Lindor said. Like I said, I’m not against a long-term [contract]. This should make sense to both parties. Let’s see what happens.
In addition to the contract, Lindor said he was excited about what the Mets are doing and has already spoken to several players on the team, including Marcus Stroman, James McCann, Edwin Diaz and Thomas Nido (a childhood friend in Puerto Rico). He is ready to take on the challenge of the spotlight that playing in New York brings.
There’s a lot of pressure in New York, he says. It’s a big deal. You got a lot of people’s attention. But I’m lucky to be able to play this game. My name is Francisco Lindor. I’m going to do it, and I hope people appreciate it. I hope people will kiss me. I’m going to give them a hug.
Mets fans should have no problem with a player nicknamed Mr. Smile Wears Off. When asked what the first thing he would do when he arrived in New York, Lindor smiled and said I love pizza, so I’ll probably eat it.
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