Francisco Lindor wasn’t new to the offseason rumors that he might get traded. When those rumors turned into reality last Thursday, when the Mets struck a deal with the Indians for him and teammate Carlos Carrasco, mixed emotions began to settle in.
It’s only natural when Cleveland was the only MLB home that Lindor knew. He went through their farm system and developed into arguably the best shortstop in the league during his time there. But now he is going from Ohio to New York, a transition that he is “extremely excited for.” It comes, however, with a bittersweet feeling after all he’s been through with the Indians.
“There was definitely a lot of speculation and once I got the call, there was a lot of mixed feelings,” he told reporters on Monday. “There was definitely a lot of mixed feelings where Cleveland was home. I love Cleveland. The people in Cleveland have treated me well. It’s a great organization. I have nothing but respect and love for all of them. The fans were great the time I was there. But also, it’s been so much excitement with the Mets that I couldn’t help myself to be extremely excited, to be happy. It’s a new opportunity for me, my family. I’m blessed to be able to play the greatest game out there at probably the biggest city in the world and one of the most fun cities in the world.”
Lindor touched on a variety of topics during his first New York media session. Here are a few of the top takeaways from the first of many times Lindor will be in front of the camera this upcoming season:
ON EXTENSION TALKS AND NOT WANTING IT TO INTERFERE WITH THE SEASON
This will be a story that will be following Lindor all season long, as he is technically a one-year rental at the moment. He’s set to hit free agency after the 2021 season, but the Mets certainly didn’t make this trade thinking they wouldn’t be able to figure something out.
Lindor was coy with his answers about the situation, saying that he will let his agent, David Miller, let the Mets know what he wants when the time is right. He did say, however, that he doesn’t want those negotiations to interfere with his focus on the season when spring training rolls around.
“I have never negotiated contracts during the season. I have always said either before spring training, but once it gets to a point of spring training, it’s time to enjoy the ride and focus on winning and the only thing I want to focus on. It’s about focusing on what I have every day, my task. And that’s winning.”
Lindor added that he and the Indians gave their “best efforts” in terms of an extension, but nothing ever worked out.
ON ALREADY BEING IN CONTACT WITH COACHES/PLAYERS
The general support for the trade was almost immediate, as Mets players were active on social media to show their excitement. And since then, Lindor has already gotten his welcoming talks with some coaches and players.
“I have talked to most of the coaches. I have talked to Sandy [Alderson, I talked to Jared [Porter], I talked to Steve Cohen and I talked to a couple of the players. I have heard nothing but great things about the organizations. I heard the clubhouse is extremely good. Everybody gets along.”
As for the players, Lindor says that he’s spoken with Michael Conforto and another new Met, James McCann.
ON COMPARISON TO MOOKIE BETTS
The trade for Lindor has been compared to that of Betts because the Los Angeles Dodgers gave him a mega extension before he even played a game with them.
Will Lindor think about that? As of right now, he doesn’t know what’s going to happen.
“Mookie fell into a great situation and felt comfortable with the LA Dodgers and he was making a decision that was best for him and his family.
““It has to make sense for both sides. I’m sure my agent David [Miller] will do a great job in communicating every single thing I desire. Hopefully both teams understand, and we’ll see what happens.”
ON THE HIGH EXPECTATIONS THAT COMES WITH BEING THE NEW SUPERSTAR IN TOWN
“I just embrace that. I’ve never been the type of player where it’s like, ‘Follow me. I’ll lead you to success.’ I’ve always been a person that together we’re all going to achieve what we want. That’s what I’m bringing. I’m bringing my, ‘Hey guys, let’s find a way to do this together. I know you guys have this great thing going on.’ I just want to be a little piece of that puzzle. I’m going to smile, I’m going to have fun, I’m going to enjoy the ride brother.”
ON WHY HE ALWAYS HAS A SMILE ON HIS FACE
“They say smiles are very contagious. I’m going to bring Francisco Lindor, which is me, I’m gonna do me on a daily basis. I always smile because I’m blessed to have health, my family surround me. I have a great group of people that help me keep my peace and play the greatest game out there. Why not smile? I’m living my dream.”
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