Covering my first Met Game this spring it was a great atmosphere for me to see–people in the stands, the sun was shining with a nice light breeze and Jacob deGrom was on the hill. I talked to a few Met fans in the stands I had gotten to know over the years covering spring training and there was a positivity in the air which was so refreshing to see.
The Mets were kind enough to give us a corridor to work in and gave us all seats in the stands with proper social distancing protocols firmly in place and watching Jacob deGrom you could readily see the ball was exploding out of his hands hitting triple digits on the radar gun a plethora of times but more than that his slider was in absolute mid-season form using it to strike out 6 hitters in his 4 inning stint giving up only 1 run.
“I feel like my slider is really rounding into shape and feel so comfortable using it”, said deGrom. From where I was sutting you can see the late movement was incredible having a consistent 12 to 6 break. And that is bad news for the rest of the NL East.
The offense was hitting on all cylinders as well as Dominic Smith, Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor all hit homers . After the contest, Lindor talked about his new teammates saying, “I like the guys here. I like the coaching staff and we are all on the same path trying to win, getting better so I am liking the organization. I am feeling more comfortable as this is a good workplace.”
After hearing that, the conversation moved to his contract extension which he categorized as “the talks have started but nothing serious. We are just talking and will see how everything goes.” Lindor firmly reiterated his deadline of not talking contract once the season starts. ” Like I said during the season, “said Lindor, “I will not be negotiating during the season. It is not fair to me and not fair to the team. If it doesn’t happen in spring training I will go to free agency and we will talk in November or December whenever free agency starts.”
Lindor was pressed to answer what he is looking for in a contract and said, ” I want my family to be happy and be in a safe place. I knew they could be safe in Cleveland and I know they can be safe in New York so we’ll see what happens.”
My thought here is both sides know the deadline is coming to build an agreement but the process is in the early stages and I expect Mets to come to the table with an offer that feel will be accepted in a marketplace that is exploding after the Tatis signing. I would say somewhere in the 275-300 million dollar range is where we are talking here and despite that huge price tag Francisco Lindor would be worth every penny. He is a superstar shortstop –the best in the game–and brings with it an enthusiasm and love for the game few players exhibit on an everyday basis the way he does.
Stay tuned–more to come in next few weeks on this story I am sure.