With three major stars hitting free agency after the 2021 season, the New York Mets have some work to do if they want to build a sustainable winner for 2022 and beyond. Shortstop Francisco Lindor, pitcher Noah Syndergaard, and outfielder Michael Conforto are all playing the last year of their respective deals, and are expected to test the market in October unless they reach an agreement to stay in Queens long-term.
Of the three, perhaps Lindor should be the number one priority given that he came via trade just a few weeks ago and the Mets would want to justify the assets that they gave away and sign him to a blockbuster deal to make the All-Star shortstop the face of the franchise for years to come.
So far, the Mets like what they have seen from Lindor: a player who works hard on and off the field and tries to motivate and help his teammates to be better players. His energy in the clubhouse is unmatched, day in and day out.
The Mets want Lindor for the long haul
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Lindor and the Mets are expected to begin extension talks â€œin earnestâ€ this week.
Per Heyman, the Mets and Lindorâ€™s representatives have Opening Day (April 1) as a kind of a â€œsoft deadlineâ€, meaning that they would like a deal done by then but is by no means a necessity. That would give the team a little over three weeks to get Lindorâ€™s signature in a long-term pact, which seems reasonable.
Neither side would like talks to extend into the regular season, so itâ€™s possible that they are able to hammer out a deal.
Lindorâ€™s on-field performance has been excellent over the course of his career despite a slightly down 2020 season.
He has a career .285/.346/.488 line with a .351 wOBA and a 118 wRC+. Last season with the Cleveland Indians, he hit .258/.335/.415 with eight homers and six steals.