Mon, 08 Mar 2021

Shortstop Francisco Lindor reached a one-year, $22.3 million deal with the New York Mets to avoid salary arbitration, according to multiple reports on Friday.

Lindor, acquired with starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco last week in a trade from the Cleveland Indians, will be a free agent following the 2021 season. The Mets gave up four players, including young infielders Adres Gimenez and Amed Rosario, in the trade that showed the club was transitioning into a different approach under new owner Steve Cohen.

It's expected the Mets will try to sign Lindor beyond 2021. Lindor, a four-time All-Star, said he's not opposed to signing a long-term deal with the Mets, but also indicated any contract talks will be tabled when spring training begins.

"I have never negotiated a contract during a season," Lindor said at his introductory press conference earlier this week. "Never. I've always said before spring training (I'll talk), but once it gets to a point in spring training, it's time to enjoy the ride and focus on winning and that's the only thing I should be focusing on, not how much money I'm going to get."

Lindor made slightly more than $6.48 million in 2020 as part of his prorated salary of $17.5 million. He hit .258 with eight home runs and 27 RBIs while starting 60 games last season for the Indians.

Lindor, 27, is a career .285 hitter, with an on-base percentage of .346 and a slugging percentage of .488. He posted 138 home runs and 411 RBI in 777 career games, all with Cleveland where he was also a two-time Golden Glove winner.

Friday was the deadline for players and teams to exchange numbers for potential arbitration. The Mets agreed to one-year contracts with six other players on Friday to avoid the process. Outfielder Michael Conforto ($12.25 million), like Lindor, will become a free agent next offseason.

In his first year eligible for arbitration, first baseman-outfielder Dominic Smith agreed to a $2.55 million deal. Outfielder Brandon Nimmo ($4.7 million), and right-handers Edwin Diaz ($7 million), Seth Lugo ($2.9 million) and Robert Gsellman ($1.3 million) also agreed to one-year contracts.

--Field Level Media

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