Francisco Lindor made his presence felt with the Mets since he entered Port St. Lucie for Spring Training.
Who can forget him doing a recreation of Eddie Murphy’s character Prince Akeem from “Coming to America” by wearing an old-school Mets jacket and yelling, “Good morning, my neighbors!”? He sounded like one of us seamheads when he moaned about analytics ruining the game. He also lectured J.D. Davis and Luis Guillorme on how to be in a position to field and throw the ball quicker than the first or second base.
After playing in small-market Cleveland for six successful years, he gets an opportunity to play in the nation’s biggest media market in New York after being acquired in a blockbuster trade this offseason. He enters his walk year knowing he will get a deal similar to San Diego Padres superstar Fernando Tatis’ 14-year, $350 million recent contract extension.
Mets president Sandy Alderson mentioned his plans on signing the Mets’ new acquisition piece before the season starts. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweeted that the Mets and Lindor’s agent have been talking about a deal that they hope to finish as quickly as possible.
I believe both sides want to get this done to get this over with. The Mets did not acquire Lindor just for rental, and the new Met sure doesn’t want his contract situation entering his mind all season long, especially in his first season in New York.
Mets owner Steve Cohen used the Lindor acquisition as a centerpiece of Mets’ new ownership. He knows he can’t let his star shortstop leave after one season, especially after missing out on George Springer, Trevor Bauer, and J.T. Realmuto. If that actually happens, his credibility takes a hit as an owner after Mets fans viewed him as a savior for his net worth. Fans have been patient with Cohen so far, but the honeymoon doesn’t last forever. As soon as the first game starts, the Mets owner is on the clock to produce in the name of wins. Signing Lindor to an extension can extend the honeymoon for a few weeks.
From Lindor’s perspective, he wants to stay in New York. He is not interested in answering questions about his future. It becomes a distraction no matter how hard a player tries to fight it. Part of his struggles last season with the Indians stems from his future since he knew he would be traded after this season. He does not want to go through this again for the second straight season. He knows not many players get this opportunity to take their star to New York. Lindor gets that, and he certainly wants to play more than one season in New York.
It would behoove the four-time All-Star to play his first season as a Met without inking a new deal. For those that say there is no rush for either to agree to a deal, just stop.
The Mets themselves want to get this out of the way before the 2021 season starts. They already have enough question marks as it is, such as the division, their defense, and their pitching. Worrying about their new centerpiece being a rental is the last thing they need.
Yes, Lindor will get paid, whether it’s from the Mets or some other big-market team, but I am sure he wants stability after what he endured last season about his future. It’s only human nature.
The onus is on the Mets to get it done than him. They have to find a way to make the numbers work with his agent. They know full well they would have to give Lindor what the Padres gave Tatis when they acquired him. If they didn’t think they would do that, they should have never acquired him in the first place.
The Mets seem to approach this with a sense of urgency. They understand the deal.
For Lindor’s peace of mind, the Mets should find a way to find common ground with his agent sooner rather than later.
My guess is both reach an agreement before the team leaves Port St. Lucie…It has to be, right?
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