If the Mets can’t lock him up with an extension, Francisco Lindor could find out next offseason exactly where he ranks among the best shortstops in the game.
Meanwhile, the new Mets superstar thinks he already knows the answer.
“In general? Me,” Lindor told Sports Illustrated, when asked who the best shortstop is. “Because I’ll do it every day. I count on myself every day. Every day. Trevor Story? I love to watch him. We talk. batting and defense. The best hands at shortstop right now are Freddy Galvis and Andrelton Simmons. Best hitter? When [Corey] Seager is at your level. I think he’s the best hitter.
“If we go tool by tool, many of them are better than me. [Fernando] Tatis [Jr.]? Is incredible. Y [Javier] Baez? I’ve been playing Baez since I was a kid and it’s like, ‘Brother, how are you doing this?’
“There is that delicate balance between being confident and being arrogant. Sometimes it’s hard for me to admit to myself who the best shortstop is. Why? For that delicate balance. I’m confident. I think I’m the best shortstop. “
The Mets hope to sign Lindor to an extension before he can become a free agent next winter, after trading him for him and Carlos Carrasco in a deal with the Indians in January.
But if Lindor hits the open market, he would join a star-studded class of free agent shortstop expected to include Seager, Story, Baez and Carlos Correa.
For now, Lindor, 27, a four-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove shortstop and two-time Silver Slugger, is preparing for the 2021 season, his first in a Mets uniform after a low year for abbreviated 2020.