Francisco Lindor Rumors: Mets Star, Steve Cohen Had Dinner Amid Contract Talks

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2021

New York Mets' Francisco Lindor (12) reacts after scoring god a solo home run during the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Tuesday, March 23, 2021, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

The New York Mets and shortstop Francisco Lindor remain engaged on contract extension talks.

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the superstar and team owner Steve Cohen had dinner together Saturday night, ostensibly to continue those contract conversations:

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

New York Mets star Francisco Lindor and team owner Steve Cohen got together for dinner last night as the deadline for a contract extension nears, sources tell ESPN. There remains hope something will get done before the Opening Day deadline Lindor set. Would be for $300M-plus.

Hopefully for the Mets, the talks went better than the food:

Steven Cohen @StevenACohen2

@Ducc7497 @JeffPassan The ravioli wasn’t very good

The Mets acquired Lindor and starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco in January from Cleveland in exchange for Andres Gimenez, Amed Rosario, Josh Wolf and Isaiah Greene. 

It was a win-now move for the Mets, paired with the signing of catcher James McCann and pitchers Taijuan Walker and Trevor May, among others.

But Lindor's pending free agency after the 2021 season remains the one shadow hanging over his acquisition. Sign a long-term extension to stay in New York, and the price to land him doesn't seem so high. Fail to sign him and lose him after just one season, however, and barring a title this year, the Mets will have buyer's remorse. 

Obviously, the Mets will do everything in their power to keep him. The 27-year-old is one of the game's stars, and while he didn't have the best 2020 season by his own lofty standards (.258 with eight homers, 27 RBI, 30 runs and six steals), he's just a year removed from hitting .335 with 32 dingers, 74 RBI, 101 runs and 22 steals. 

Few players offer his offensive output and defensive ability (two-time Gold Glover) at one of the game's most important positions. Keeping the four-time All-Star is priority No. 1 in New York. Cohen—perhaps with his tongue planted firmly in cheek—even asked fans what type of offer they expected Lindor to accept:

Steven Cohen @StevenACohen2

What do think Lindor will accept? I’m going to crowdsource the answer

It won't be cheap. But giving up several young players for one year of Lindor before losing him in free agency would be a far worse outcome than biting the bullet and signing off on that $300-plus million deal.