The acquisition of superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor further catapults the New York Mets in the offseason discussion of teams that are legitimate contenders ahead of the 2021 season.
Lindor himself is one of the best players at his position in the game; a four-time All-Star and a two-time Silver Slugger and Gold Glove recipient, he’s one of the most marketable, recognizable, and successful faces of today’s game.
Yet it became abundantly clear as he was introduced to the New York media on Monday morning that this isn’t your run-of-the-mill superstar who will control the headlines and ensure the spotlight remains fixated on just him.
No, Lindor’s tenure with the Mets will be anything but that.
“I’m not here to put the puzzle together, I’m here to put my piece in and hopefully that’s good enough to help us continue to grow and eventually win,” Lindor said. “I’m not the kind of player that’s about ‘follow me and I’ll lead you to success,’ it’s ‘together, we can achieve what we want.'”
The 27-year-old was acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Indians on Thursday, coming to Queens with starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco in return for Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, and prospects in Josh Wolf and Isaiah Greene.
It’s a sizable price considering Lindor is under contract for just one more season before hitting free agency, making the looming topic of conversation about his future in New York and whether he’d be willing to sign long-term with the Mets.
“To all those fans out there, I live life day by day,” he said. “I’m extremely happy and excited about what’s happening right now but I haven’t really sat down and talked to anybody. I had the welcoming conversations and I’m excited about it, can’t wait. I’ve never been against an extension, never been against signing long-term… We’ll see what happens.”
The window for the Mets to negotiate with Lindor will be a tight one considering his philosophy and those talks are expected to begin in the coming weeks. But while that may add some anxiety about what’s next for him in New York, his view further cemented the notion that he’s here to make an impact above all else.
“I have never negotiated a contract during the season, never,” Lindor said. “I’ve always said either before spring training, but when it gets to a point in spring training, it’s time to enjoy the ride and focus on winning.
“That’s the only thing I should be focusing on. Not how much money I get.”
As of now, pitchers and catchers are expected to report to spring training on Feb. 17, leaving just over a month to at least get the ball rolling on talks. But Lindor made it a point to bring the focus back to baseball and his new venture with a new club.
“There’s been so much excitement with the Mets that I couldn’t help myself in being extremely excited,” he said. “I’m blessed to be able to play this game in the biggest city in the world and in one of the most fun cities in the world.
“It’s a privilege to wear the New York Mets logo, to wear the blue and orange.”