New York Mets: The latest in the Francisco Lindor contract extension negotiations

New York Mets

The New York Mets want to sign All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor to a long-term deal. The infielder, so far, has given every indication that he likes New York and the club, so he is interested in staying for the long haul. The two sides are negotiating.

Yet, Lindor doesn’t want to negotiate once the regular season starts this week, so the Mets only have a handful of days to get a deal done. Otherwise, they may lose their star to free agency, as other teams will be able to enter the bidding after the World Series is over.

New York Mets’ owner Steve Cohen had dinner with Lindor over the weekend, and the extension likely was a conversation theme during the evening. There is some hope that they can get something done this week, but it is not a given by any means.

In fact, multiple outlets reported in the last few hours that the Mets and Lindor’s camp are still far in negotiations. The team is offering a 10-year, $325 million deal, whereas the shortstop wants something closer to $400 million, which would be nearing Mike Trout territory.

The Mets’ put an offer on the table

The latest news has Lindor lowering his demands to 12 years and $385 million, but the Mets would have to think twice about having a 40-year old shortstop at some point in the deal.

Anthony DiComo of MLB.com said the 10-year pact that Lindor currently has on the table was the Mets’ “best and final” offer.

While a phone call from either side might change the outcome of the negotiations very quickly, it’s clear that there is still a significant gap between the two parties.

Lindor, 27, is having a nice spring, and even though he didn’t have a particularly good 2020 season, he is a career 118 wRC+ hitter with speed and elite defense. A resolution could be coming in the next few hours, one way or the other.

New York Mets: Francisco Lindor and Steve Cohen meet for dinner as contract extension deadline nears

When the New York Mets surrendered four players, including two exciting young shortstops in Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez, to get Francisco Lindor for the Cleveland Indians, they knew there were no guarantees that he would agree to spend his long-term future in New York. However, owner Steve Cohen and the front office knew that they have as good a shot as anyone to lure him to the Big Apple and get his signature in a contract extension.

The New York Mets, so far, have been impressed by Lindor’s on and off the field, and more than ever, want to get something done. If they don’t agree to a contract before Opening Day this week, the Mets will have to wait until after the season to renegotiate, as Lindor imposed that deadline a few days ago. The problem is that, after the World Series, the All-Star infielder will be a free agent and other clubs will enter the bidding.

According to Mets manager Luis Rojas and others, Cohen spent a night dining with Lindor over the weekend, and it’s fair to assume that the contract extension was among the conversation topics. The owner, very active on his Twitter account, hinted at the meal on the platform as he replied to a question by saying: “The ravioli wasn’t very good.”

The Mets should expect to pay at least $300 million

The floor for a Lindor contract extension is said to be $300 million, and the shortstop already turned down an offer in the $200 million neighborhood back when he played in Cleveland.

The Mets are reportedly ‘prepared’ to go big for Lindor and fellow extension candidate Michael Conforto. The player is helping his case with a strong spring, batting .365/.431/.615 in 16 games.

“He’s been a great asset so far,” Rojas said. “So we can’t wait to watch him in the season performing to help us win games, like we expect.”

New York Mets: Peterson Pitches Well, Bullpen Not So Much in 7-3 Loss

New York Mets, David Peterson

The New York Mets have some questions behind their quartet of top-tier relievers, and Robert Gsellman and Stephen Tarpley continued to heighten the need for reliable middle relievers. After a scoreless seventh inning, the Washington Nationals roughed up Gsellman in the eighth inning.

Josh Bell‘s majestic opposite solo home run tied the game at three and almost cleared the scoreboard. Gerardo Parra put the Nats in the lead with an RBI single giving them a 4-3 lead. They added a two-run homer from Luis Garcia and RBI single from Adrian Sanchez to complete the 7-3 victory.

David Peterson was in line for the win before the blown save from Gsellman. Peterson pitched six solid innings with four hits and two runs allowed. The Nats did a bulk of their damage during the fourth inning, with three hits and two runs in their top half. Singles from Josh Harrison and Hernan Perez were the only damage against the slender lefty. Peterson only struck out two but was very effective in the outing. He did not allow a hit for the first half of his start.

Manager Luis Rojas hopes to have a second lefty in the bullpen, but Tarpley squandered one of his final opportunities to make the roster. Tarpley allowed four hits and three runs, including the Garcia homer, and only retired one batter. Due to their rough outings, Gsellman and Tarpley made their route to the Opening Day roster bumpier. Tylor Megill came in and prevented more runs from being charged to Tarpley’s ledger in the ninth.

The Mets offense recorded 12 hits but only pushed 3 runs across. James McCann‘s RBI single provided the first run during the second inning. The other two runs came in the sixth when Dominic Smith lucked into an RBI triple on a dribbler that Bell misplayed at first base and J.D. Davis lined an RBI single over a drawn-in infield. McCann and Francisco Lindor were the two Mets with multiple hits on the night.

On Saturday, the Mets play another home game when the Houston Astros visit Clover Park. Bryan Abreu (1-0, 3.68 ERA) takes the mound against opener Jacob Barnes (0-1, 5.40 ERA). Barnes opens up for Joey Lucchesi for the 1:10 p.m. ET start on SNY.

 

Mets reportedly ‘prepared to spend big’ amid contract negotiations with Lindor and Conforto

New York Mets

The New York Mets were pretty aggressive during the offseason, bidding on just about every top free agent available. They were in on George Springer and Trevor Bauer, but a trade ended up being their most important move. And when all is said and done, that will turn out to be OK if they are able to sign one or both of their next targets.

Shortstop Francisco Lindor and outfielder Michael Conforto will be free agents after the season, but the Mets have the power to prevent that. They can sign both to long-term extensions and flex some of that financial muscle they currently boast, having the richest owner in MLB.

Of course, the idea is not spending for the sake of it. But in this case, both targets are young, talented, and with an extensive track record of success. Locking them up would be a coup.

In six seasons and 777 career games, Lindor has a .285 batting average, 138 homers, 411 RBI, a .346 OBP, a .488 slugging percentage, and 28.8 career WAR.

Conforto, who has played all of his career with the Mets, has a .259/.358/.484 line with 118 dingers, 341 RBI and 14.5 WAR.

The Mets have a deadline to deal with

Both men told the Mets they don’t want to negotiate during the season, as it would be a distraction. If they don’t reach a deal before Opening Day, they will test the market.

So, for the Mets, the clock is ticking. But according to Tim Healey of Newsday, the Mets are mentally and financially prepared to spend big in the near future to retain their stars.

“We have plenty of capacity,” Mets president Sandy Alderson recently told Healey. “Whether that flexibility is exercised later this month or next year, we don’t know. But always having options and maintaining that flexibility is important.”

The Mets would prefer to stay under the luxury tax threshold for 2020, which is $210 million, and they are currently around $200 million.

According to Alderson, even the richest organizations like the Mets should pick their spots.

“Big-market teams typically have more choices available to them,” Alderson said. “But you still have to be patient, you still have to be discerning. And you also have to have an eye on the future.

“It’s easy to, within the framework of one season, spend money on what you hope is a successful year. But you have to keep in mind what the impact of those decisions in the current year are going to have on future years.”

New York Mets: Offense Goes Silent in 3-0 Loss to Cardinals

Carlos Martinez has finally figured out a way to shut down the New York Mets in the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 victory. Martinez had a spring ERA over 10 heading into the outing but righted himself with a dominant outing. He threw six scoreless innings, allowing four hits, and struck out five.

The offense could not muster any consistent offense. They had at least one runner on base in five of Martinez’s six innings but could not parlay it to any run. Despite the slow team offense, Francisco Lindor recorded another hit and moved his spring average to .341. Jeff McNeil‘s double was the only extra-base hit as he tries to get himself out of a cold spell.

Originally Taijuan Walker was scheduled to pitch, but the Mets threw him in the “B” game and started Corey Oswalt. He rebounded from an ugly outing to deliver four innings, holding the Cards to one run. It came on John Nogowski‘s solo home run in the second inning; Nogowski is hitting a scorching 11-for-26 (.423) with two home runs and 11 RBIs. After the homer, Oswalt retired the last seven Cardinals he faced.

After Oswalt, Jeurys Familia and Dellin Betances delivered scoreless innings with a walk and strikeout. Miguel Castro struck out two and hit 100 mph on the radar gun to continue his brilliant month. Castro has allowed just one hit over 5.1 innings in March. Jerry Blevins was touched up for the final two Cardinal runs in the eighth inning.

The Mets get Thursday off before returning to Clover Park to face the Washington Nationals. Kyle McGowin (2-0, 2.35 ERA) starts against David Peterson (0-0, 4.50 ERA) at 6:10 p.m. ET.

New York Mets: Lindor Hits Fourth Homer in Five Games During 5-3 Win

The New York Mets are getting exactly what they traded for with Francisco Lindor‘s production this spring. Lindor has his best game of spring training by recording three hits, including his fourth home run. His strong game helped propel the Mets to a 5-3 victory over the Miami Marlins.

Marcus Stroman got the start and scattered nine hits over five innings. He was tagged for two home runs, but the umpires bailed Stroman out both times. Starling Marte‘s double hit the chain-link fence behind the right field wall and bounced back in play. Brian Anderson hit a towering shot over the left field foul pole that was called a foul ball. Instead of a three-run homer, Anderson struck out to end the inning instead.

In the third inning, Adam Duvall‘s sacrifice fly gave the Marlins their first run. Miguel Rojas recorded the final two runs with his two-run homer in the fifth inning as Stroman limped to the finish line. The quartet of Jacob Barnes, Aaron Loup, Trevor May, and Tommy Hunter finished the game with four hitless innings.

After Marlins starter Daniel Castano retired the first six batters he faced, the Mets came out swinging in the third inning. Triples from Kevin Pillar and Brandon Nimmo led to the first run of the inning. Francisco Lindor’s double drove in Nimmo, and a sharp single from Pete Alonso capped off the three-run third. Lindor’s fifth inning homer put the Mets in the lead, and another homer from J.D. Davis in the sixth gave their fifth run.

On Wednesday, Taijuan Walker (1-0, 3.00) takes the mound against the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter. The offense gets another opportunity to afflict more damage on Carlos Martinez (0-2, 10.03) and his ERA as he starts for the Cards.

Mets’ legend Mike Piazza about potential Francisco Lindor extension: ‘If it’s meant to be, he’s going to be here’

New York yankees, Francisco Lindor

In January, the New York Mets acquired superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor, together with pitcher Carlos Carrasco, from the Cleveland Indians, surrendering young shortstops Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario plus two prospects.

Lindor only has a year left of team control for the Mets, which is 2021. After the season, he will become a free agent and can negotiate with any team… unless the Mets can hammer out a contract extension. A deal has to get done before the start of the season, as Lindor prefers to focus on playing once the calendar flips to April.

If there is someone who knows and understands the situation in which Lindor is currently involved, that’s Mets’ legend Mike Piazza. In 1998, when he was in his prime, he landed in Queens via trade, just like Lindor. And, like the shortstop, he was a few months short of free agency when he did.

Piazza wasn’t convinced of making New York his long-term home at first, but the city grew on him. He, according to MLB.com’s Mets beat writer Anthony DiComo, adjusted his view to see the whole scenario as a challenge.

And, just a few weeks after the 1998 season, Piazza committed his future to the Mets in a seven-year, $91 million contract. He went on to become a Hall of Famer.

Piazza visited the Mets’ complex and talked to Lindor

“It wasn’t until about the end of August where I started really saying, ‘I can do this. I’m meant to be here, and I have to follow through on this,’” Piazza recalled Monday from Port St. Lucie, Fla., during his annual visit to Spring Training. “Things worked out.”

Piazza had a conversation with Lindor in the Mets’ complex. The former catcher recalled that the shortstop would have to get comfortable in the city and with the team before committing his future.

“There’s a spiritual component to it,” Piazza said. “[Lindor] has got to go out and get comfortable, and the fact that he has such a good team around him is important as well. For me, there was also the human element. … We were at a time with the team where we knew they were trying to win, so we were going to put some pieces in place to try to make that happen. So that’s my only advice for him: Just go out and play. Go out and play, put your numbers up, and if it’s meant to be, he’s going to be here.”

Mets Make Their First Offers to Michael Conforto and Francisco Lindor

The New York Mets are hoping to secure their future success, and the first job is keeping Francisco Lindor and Michael Conforto. They made their first contract extension offers to their young stars, but all parties are long from agreeing on details.

The Mets offered Lindor below $300 million, but his camp went well over that mark. Lindor certainly deserves a contract near Fernando Tatis Jr.’s, and Steve Cohen will go there to make an extension happen. The Mets traded too much for Lindor to become a one-year rental. Even if it results in a World Series title, the front office cannot let their shortstop for the next decade slip away.

Conforto’s deal will take a lot more work, thanks to Scott Boras in his corner. Boras clients are notorious for refusing extensions so they can earn large sums in free agency. Plenty notable stars did sign long-term extensions in the past but it does not happen often. Very little details regarding any offers have been released and Conforto has been silent on any talks.

Lindor made it clear that he will not talk an extension after spring training but Conforto has not set a time limit. Conforto’s track record is not as illustrious as Lindor’s and Boras clients are known to negotiate at anytime. It is also notable to remember than Jacob deGrom’s extension came just a couple days before the season started.

This occurred with the Mets version of dumb and dumber (Brodie Van Wagenen and Jeff Wilpon) running things and David Wright stepping in to help broker a deal. With a completely new owner and front office, Mets fans should have confidence in both players remaining in Flushing.

 

Walker Superb, Lindor Hits Grand Slam in Mets 8-5 Win Over Cards

Taijuan Walker became a bigger part of the New York Mets rotation after Carlos Carrasco‘s hamstring injury. He took the mound against the St. Louis Cardinals and was tremendous in the Mets 8-5 victory.

Walker made it look easy in his second start of the spring. He only allowed one hit over four innings and struck out three Cardinals. Walker needed just 50 pitches to get through his outing, and his slider was his best pitch.

The offense tormented Carlos Martinez once again as they tagged him for five runs in three innings. Pete Alonso continued to scorch the ball with a first inning RBI double to drive in Brandon Nimmo. The double was Alonso’s fifth of the spring and moved his average to .400.

In the second, Tomas Nido flicked a home run over the right field fence with the help of the Florida wind. The bulk of the scoring came in a five-run fifth when J.D. Davis beat the throw home on a fielder’s choice for the first run. Francisco Lindor capped off the inning with a grand-slam which made it a 7-0 game. Jerry Blevins put up a scoreless top half of the inning to relieve Walker.

In the eighth, Johneshy Fargas recorded a hustle triple, then scored on an error from third baseman Evan Mendoza to drive in a run. Jeff McNeil had some tough luck as he was hit by a pitch three times in three different spots. Luckily, none resulted in any injuries.

Oswalt Struggles

Corey Oswalt took over for the sixth and allowed plenty of hard contact. Oswalt allowed a two-run homer to Max Moroff and an RBI double before Trevor Hildenberger cleaned up the mess. He got an opportunity to redeem himself in the seventh inning thanks to the spring training rules. Oswalt pitched a 1-2-3 inning but lost it again in the eighth. He allowed another two-run homer to push his line to five runs in just 2.2 innings pitched. Daniel Zamora closed out the win with a scoreless ninth inning.

Saturday is a day off before Jacob deGrom takes the mound against the Washington Nationals in West Palm Beach on Sunday. For the first time, pitchers will bat, allowing deGrom ready for his first plate appearances since 2019. Hopefully, the Mets wrap deGrom in bubble wrap to prevent any other injuries to their rotation.

 

 

Mets: Francisco Lindor doesn’t want contract negotiations to extend into the regular season

New York Mets’ shortstop Francisco Lindor, who hit his first home run of the 2021 spring training on Wednesday, talked with the press about his ongoing contract negotiations, as the team intends to lock him up and keep him in Queens for a long time.

The Mets send shortstops Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez plus a couple of prospects to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for the All-Star shortstop plus starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco back in January.

“I will not be negotiating during the season,” Lindor said. “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’ve got to give everything I’ve got into winning baseball games, so if it doesn’t happen in Spring Training, I’ll go to free agency and we’ll talk in November.”

Before Lindor’s remarks, the Mets had implied that the start of the season was a soft deadline to get a deal done with Lindor, but the infielder has made it a hard one: he will not enter negotiations during the regular campaign.

The Mets and Lindor want to get something done before the season

Lindor made it clear that it will be his agent the one tasked with the responsibility of delivering the best possible contract for him and his family.

The Mets would also like to get something done before the season, so it is possible that Lindor is extended in the upcoming days.

Speaking of his play on the field, the Mets’ star began the spring on a 0-for-7 skid, but is now on a 5-for-15 hot streak that includes his Tuesday homer against the Houston Astros.

“It felt great to be able to pull the baseball in the correct way,” he said. “In Spring Training, engines are just starting to run. So I was just happy I was able to pull the baseball the correct way.”