Francisco Lindor is heading into his first year with the New York Mets but the last one under his current contract. While many have questioned if he will sign an extension with his new team, the shortstop noted he would be willing to go into free agency if needed.
"I've never been afraid of free agency so it's not like I gotta rush to sign a deal or I can't wait for free agency," Lindor told reporters Monday. "I live life on a daily basis."
He elaborated that there is "mutual interest" in an extension but "it has to make sense."
The Mets acquired Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco in a January trade with Cleveland in exchange for Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez and two minor leaguers.
Mets president Sandy Alderson acknowledged after the trade he would be satisfied even without re-signing Lindor.
"At this point, we felt comfortable giving up the group of players we did for both Lindor and Carrasco, recognizing that Lindor is only under contract for one year and Carrasco for two plus an option," Alderson said in January.
The team is still seeking to sign the player to a long-term deal, with acting general manager Zack Scott discussing the plans Monday:
The 27-year-old is likely headed to a big payday regardless of when he signs his next deal. In just six seasons in the majors, Lindor already has an incredible resume that includes four All-Star selections, two Silver Slugger awards and two Gold Gloves at a premium position.
He could have some trepidation signing a long-term deal this offseason after a disappointing 2020 where he set career lows with a .258 batting average and .750 OPS. A bounce-back performance in 2021 would allow Lindor to cash in even more on the open market featuring a potential bidding war for his services.
On the other hand, a competitive offer from the Mets might be enough to provide the superstar with financial security for the rest of his career.