Spring training is often when contract extensions come together, and shortstop is one of the positions that’s certainly worth watching in that regard during the next several weeks. The Mets’ Francisco Lindor, the Dodgers’ Corey Seager, the Rockies’ Trevor Story, the Astros’ Carlos Correa and the Cubs’ Javier Baez are on track to lead a tremendous free-agent class at short next offseason, though it’s conceivable any of them could instead opt for long-term security with a new deal this spring.
It stands to reason the Mets will make a serious effort to lock up Lindor, whom they acquired from Cleveland in a winter blockbuster. There is indeed “mutual interest” in a new deal, but it could cost upward of $300MM in guarantees to lock up the 27-year-old four-time All-Star. Fortunately for the Mets, thanks to the presence of Steve Cohen – the wealthiest owner in the sport – they seem to have a realistic chance of keeping Lindor in the fold beyond this season.
Seager, 27 in April, rounded back into superstar form in 2020 during the regular season and continued to thrive in the playoffs, in which he earned NLCS and World Series MVP honors for the championship-winning Dodgers. Unlike Lindor, though, it’s not clear whether he’s open to an extension. Asked Thursday whether he and the Dodgers have held talks, Seager told reporters (including Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times), “I don’t really want to talk about it, to be honest.” Of course, as the highest-payroll team in the game, the Dodgers should be able to extend Seager if the two sides are motivated to get something done.
There doesn’t appear to be as much hope regarding Story, as they haven’t discussed a new pact with him; plus, as apparent non-contenders that recently traded away former face of the franchise Nolan Arenado (Story’s ex-partner on the left side of the infield), it may make more sense for the club to trade Story prior to the summer deadline.
Correa and Baez were hardly at top form in 2020, but they’re still decorated players in their mid- to late-20s who haven’t made it any secret they’re willing to stay where they are. Both Correa and the Astros are hopeful they’ll reach a deal; meanwhile, Baez made it known yet again Friday that he would like to remain a Cub.
What do you think? Of this group of shortstops, which player do you believe is most likely to sign an extension?
(Poll link for app users)