Tick tock, tick tock.
Just two weeks remain until April 1, Opening Day, which is the self-imposed deadline set forth by superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor to hold contract extension talks with the New York Mets.
Once the regular season begins, talks will be put on the backburner, meaning the Mets will next be able to try and hammer out a deal with Lindor is when his contract expires at the end of the 2021 season and he’s a free agent.
Quite a dangerous game to be playing, especially considering the Mets gave up a pair of young shortstops in Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez, along with two more prospects.
So, naturally, some eyebrows were raised when Lindor provided an update on conversations between his representation and the Mets on Tuesday.
“They started, but nothing serious,” Lindor said. “We are just talking and we’ll see how everything goes.”
What does that mean?
“We are just talking. I would love to give you a lot of details, but that is not the person I am,” he continued. “You are going to get the good old media answer, which is we are just talking. So that’s it.”
Extensions could be hammered out quickly, so this isn’t necessarily the time for Mets fans to start hitting the panic button. However, Lindor understands the magnitude of the decision, claiming earlier this month that this will be one of the biggest decisions of his life. It’s a given that the 28-year-old’s next deal could flirt with the 10-year, $300 million mark, meaning that there will be extensive consideration when it comes to signing.
It remains to be seen if that could be figured out in less than two weeks.
Team president Sandy Alderson attempted to rationalize that the Mets will “figure out a way” to continue talks should a deal not get done before spring training’s completion when speaking earlier this month.
Lindor — who has remained steadfast in his viewpoint — shut that notion down once again.
“Like I said earlier, 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 and it’s not fair for the team. I have got to give everything I have got into winning baseball games.
“If it doesn’t happen in spring training, I will go to free agency and we will talk in November or December, whenever free agency starts.”