In February, just over a month after the Mets acquired him from the Indians, shortstop Francisco Lindor said he would not be willing to discuss a contract extension during the season. That continues to be the case, the four-time All-Star told Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News and other reporters Tuesday.
“Like I said earlier, I will not be negotiating during the season,” Lindor stated. “I will go to free agency. If something carries on during the season, it’s not fair for me, it’s not fair for the team. I got to give everything I got into winning baseball games. So if it doesn’t happen in spring training, I will go to free agency. We’ll talk in November, December, whenever free agency starts.”
Based on his deadline, New York only has two more weeks to extend Lindor – a pending free agent who was its crown jewel offseason acquisition – but he revealed that the two sides have begun preliminary talks. The club gave up a package consisting of young infielders Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario, right-hander Josh Wolf and outfielder Isaiah Greene for Lindor and righty Carlos Carrasco as part of an aggressive winter.
With Lindor on track to lead next offseason’s free-agent class, the Mets knew when they swung the deal that it would be a challenge to prevent the 27-year-old from testing the open market several months from now. However, considering the Mets have the majors’ wealthiest owner in Steve Cohen, they have a realistic shot to retain Lindor for what’s likely to be a long-term contract worth at least $300MM. Lindor noted Tuesday that he’s “very comfortable” as a Met, which should only increase their chances of reaching a new deal with him before the month is out.