Francisco Lindor waiting on New York Mets, unafraid of hitting free agency

Feb 22, 2021; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) takes batting practice during the first day of full-squad spring training workouts at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

Shortstop Francisco Lindor and the New York Mets are already running out of time to reach a new deal before the start of the 2021 regular season.

Lindor, acquired from the Cleveland Indians in January, took the field with the Mets on Monday for the team’s first full workout of the spring in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Already, the sides are down to about five weeks to reach a long-term contract extension based on a deadline Lindor plans to impose to avoid talking money in-season.

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As of Monday, no discussions have taken place, Lindor said.

“There has been none. We haven’t found the time,” Lindor said. “I obviously have to get to know the organization, get to know the people, and they have to get to know me. If something comes up, we’ll see in the future, but that’s between my agent and Sandy (Alderson) and the rest of the staff. I just focus on my business, and that’s doing things the right way here. … It’s too early, I think.”

Lindor said he won’t discuss a deal once the regular season begins. He also said Monday that he’s “never been scared of free agency” and will not rush to sign a contract.

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“The reason why I’ve said I don’t want it to be (past) Opening Day is because as a player, we have a duty, and the duty is to show up and win. It would be unfair for me and the rest of the team to have an ongoing conversation about extending, whether it’s me or other players, and we show up on Opening Day and our minds are somewhere else and we don’t focus on our duty. And then we start losing and people get on us — it’s like, no, we have a duty, and that’s winning.

“When it comes to negotiations, that’s something that’s out of the stadium, and that has nothing to do with showing up to the game on Opening Day. That’s why I said I don’t want it extending — if we have it — I don’t want it to extend to Opening Day.”

The 27-year-old Lindor is scheduled to hit free agency in November. He said he was excited to see Fernando Tatis Jr. complete his 14-year deal worth a reported $340 million with the Padres on Monday. Lindor said he sent Tatis a note of congratulations.

“Tatis got an outstanding deal,” Lindor said. “I’m extremely happy for him, he deserves it, his family deserves it, and that shows the game is headed in the right direction. There’s two $300 million players on the same team — so the game’s headed in the right direction. I’m happy for him, I’m excited to watch him play for the next 14 years.”

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Lindor earned four All-Star selections and won two Gold Gloves with the Indians from 2015-20, batting .285 with 138 home runs and 411 RBIs in 777 games.

–Field Level Media