Francisco Lindor’s “day by day” approach to life keeps him tethered to the present, but he admits his mind has drifted this offseason to his potential free agency.
But the Mets’ star shortstop, acquired last week from Cleveland in a blockbuster trade, also is willing to forgo that freedom for a new contract, with the caveat that talks conclude before the season begins.
“I have never negotiated a contract during the season,” Lindor said Monday in an introductory Zoom press conference. “Once it gets to a point in spring training it’s time to enjoy the ride and focus on winning and that is the only thing I should be focused on. Not how much money I am going to get, how much money do I need to get. It’s about focusing on what I have every day, my task.”
The 27-year-old Lindor, who arrived with pitcher Carlos Carrasco in a trade for Andres Gimenez, Amed Rosario, Josh Wolf and Isaiah Greene, indicated he had substantial contract discussions with Cleveland and a “great effort” was provided by both sides in trying to reach an agreement.
It’s possible Lindor will command a long-term contract in the $300 million neighborhood, putting him on a level reached by Mookie Betts and Manny Machado, among others.
“For a long time I thought the Indians could hold on to me, so it was just they didn’t come up with the number,” Lindor said. “They didn’t have the resources maybe. I am excited I am in a good place that is ready to go win and I am looking forward to it.”