PORT ST. LUCIE – Francisco Lindor, wearing his green shortstop glove, finally figured out which field he belonged to for Monday’s practice at the Mets’ spring training complex.
“Clearly I don’t have that locked up, so I have to figure it out,” Lindor said after the first full team practice.
Neither blocked: your future.
Lindor’s arrival at camp has set the clock for a possible long-term extension that will keep him with the Mets for his entire career. Lindor, 27, may become a free agent after this season.
Extension talks have yet to begin, according to Lindor, who reiterated his desire to complete such discussions before Opening Day. Lindor’s negotiations with Cleveland stalled last season, prompting the team to trade him with Carlos Carrasco to the Mets.
“We haven’t found the time [to negotiate] and obviously I have to know the organization, know the people and they have to know me, “said Lindor. “If something comes up, we’ll see about it in the future, that’s between my agent and Sandy [Alderson, team president] and the rest of the staff. It has been non-existent, the conversations. I think it’s too early. “
Acting general manager Zack Scott said, “the sooner the better,” when asked about a potential timetable for starting negotiations.
Lindor is well aware of the $ 340 million, 14-year contract that shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. received from the Padres last week that could serve as something of a benchmark for him. Tatis is five years younger, but had not even reached arbitration eligibility before accepting the deal.
“Tatis got an exceptional deal for him,” Lindor said. “I am really happy for him. He deserves it, his family deserves it and that shows that the game is going in the right direction. There are two $ 300 million players on the same team [Manny Machado is the other], so the game is going in the right direction.
“I am happy for him and excited to see him play for the next 14 years. God willing, he stays healthy and that’s what he does, and especially being in the National League this year, it will be fun to play against him, that I never had the opportunity to play against him. “
Lindor turned down an offer from Cleveland that was believed to be worth more than $ 200 million. And he’s ready to become a free agent if he doesn’t hear the right Mets number.
“I’ve never been scared by free agency, so it’s not like I have to rush to sign a deal,” he said.
The Mets surrendered Andrés Giménez, Amed Rosario, Isaiah Greene and Josh Wolf in the deal for Lindor and Carrasco, so the organization would prefer a long-term marriage to shortstop, even in a free-agent market in the position that could include names. like Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Javy Baez and Trevor Story.
“Every time you talk to a player about an extension, you are looking to find that middle ground that makes sense to both the player and the club,” Scott said. “You can’t force those things all the time. It takes two parties to try and make that work and if it doesn’t work for one, you won’t get a deal and that’s fine. You never enter a negotiation with an all-cost attitude. You have to think about what is suitable for the present and the future of your club ”.
Lindor offensively blamed his poor 2020 season on changing his routine in the weight room; says at the end of the season he was fatigued. Lindor was down .258 / .335 / .415 last season with eight home runs and 27 RBIs in 60 games.
“I didn’t do my best in the weight room and it showed in the last week of the season, I got tired,” he said. “His [working harder] during the season this year to make sure it doesn’t happen again. “