Though New York Yankees fans should focus on what their team has to do in order to rebound in 2021, many can’t help but ignore what the New York Mets are (and aren’t) doing as we approach Opening Day.
Billionaire Steve Cohen purchased the team from the Wilpons months back and it was believed he was going to splurge in free agency to change the complexion of this team. That hardly happened.
Instead, he executed a blockbuster trade for Cleveland Indians star shortstop Francisco Lindor (and pitcher Carlos Carrasco) while making a number of bargain free-agent signings, with many fans under the assumption that the “spending” would come in the form of a $300-plus million extension for Lindor.
How’s that going?
Um, not great, really! Lindor has made it clear he won’t negotiate after Opening Day and there’s said to be little traction between the two sides, which makes it seem like the Mets might be faced with a risk of him hitting free agency after 2021.
And that’s where the Yankees would come in to ruin all their plans.
"“The Yankees ‘absolutely love’ Lindor and had conversations with Cleveland about him before he was traded to the Mets, per SNY’s Andy Martino, who noted that the timing for the Yanks didn’t work out due to their current payroll situation.“Martino added that Lindor is the kind of player the Yankees would be ‘all in’ on if they decided they could afford him.”"
Shall we say, “Classic Mets”? Why in the world was this extension not agreed upon days after Lindor touched down in New York? He’s the best shortstop in the game and it quite frankly doesn’t matter what he’ll cost. The Mets have had months to figure out what they’re comfortable offering.
The fact of the matter is the Mets need to show Lindor that Queens is a place he wants to be, not the other way around. So far, it seems like a big failure.
But the bigger “news” here is that the Yankees could go beyond their means to bring Lindor aboard should the Mets drop the ball and allow him to hit free agency. Though that creates a whole different (and tender) discussion surrounding Gleyber Torres, we’d like to think this would happen if a) Torres falters and the Yanks don’t view him as the long-term solution at shortstop or b) if Torres exceeds expectations, maximizes his trade value, and the Yanks deal him for a co-ace behind Gerrit Cole and then sign Lindor to fill the gap at shortstop.
It’s simply too much to think about at this juncture with the Bombers entering 2021 with significant World Series aspirations, fans should at least know this is something that could be considered under the right circumstances … and if the Mets’ grand plan comes crashing down.