Mets: Francisco Lindor, Michael Conforto Contract Talks to Start 'Soon'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2021

New York Mets infielder Francisco Lindor throws during spring training baseball practice Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

The New York Mets are looking to lock down both Francisco Lindor and Michael Conforto with long-term extensions with talks starting "relatively soon." 

Team president Sandy Alderson discussed the organization's plans with reporters Monday:

"We've had Conforto for many years. He's not only become an excellent player but also part of, I think, the leadership group within the clubhouse. He's represented the Mets for a long period of time and represented us well. And I think if it's possible that we will make the effort to try and keep Michael with us.

"With respect to Lindor, we made the trade. It doesn't mean necessarily that we are guaranteed to have him long-term. But I think we're committed to talking about it. And I expect that those conversations will start relatively soon in both cases."

The Mets acquired Lindor in January along with Carlos Carrasco in a six-player trade with Cleveland, but the shortstop has just one year of team control remaining before hitting free agency.

Conforto is heading into his seventh season in the majors with the Mets but can also become a free agent next winter.

Retaining Lindor would seemingly be a priority after the blockbuster trade, but Alderson maintained he was "comfortable" with the deal even without an extension.

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The 27-year-old has been one of the top players in the majors at his position, earning four All-Star selections, two Silver Sluggers and two Gold Glove awards in the past five years. There could still be some hesitation from both sides regarding a new deal, however, especially considering he is yet to play a single game with the Mets.

Meanwhile, Conforto is coming off one of his best years in the majors after hitting .322 with nine home runs in 54 games during the shortened season. The outfielder had 88 home runs during the three previous seasons and remains a key piece in the middle of the order.

The team could also have extra funds available after failing to sign either Trevor Bauer or George Springer this offseason. Alderson said Monday the Mets pursued Springer but disagreed on the length of a deal, adding that signing the star outfielder would have hurt the team's ability to retain Conforto.

"At some point, even [owner] Steve Cohen runs out of money," he joked.

New York will hope there is at least enough available to keep two of their most important hitters going forward.