The New York Mets made the biggest splash of the MLB offseason by trading for Francisco Lindor in January but could lose both the All-Star shortstop and outfielder Michael Conforto to free agency after the upcoming campaign.
According to Danny Abriano of SNY, Mets president Sandy Alderson told reporters on Monday that negotiations between the club and the pair of players are on his list of upcoming errands.
"We've had Conforto for many years. He's not only become an excellent player but also part of, I think, the leadership group within the clubhouse," Alderson said during a Zoom conference call. "He's represented the Mets for a long period of time and represented us well. And I think if it's possible that we will make the effort to try and keep Michael with us.
"With respect to Lindor, we made the trade. It doesn't mean necessarily that we are guaranteed to have him long-term. But I think we're committed to talking about it. And I expect that those conversations will start relatively soon in both cases."
Lindor, a four-time All-Star, said last week that there's "mutual interest" in him signing a long-term deal with the Mets but has repeatedly insisted he doesn't want talks to drag past Opening Day. He reiterated on Monday that he and his new employer are still getting to know each other:
Francisco Lindor on Sandy Alderson saying extension talks will begin soon:— SNY (@SNYtv) March 1, 2021
"They had to get to know me and I had to get to know the organization and get to know them" pic.twitter.com/oSYDUzUnEc
The Mets have been Conforto's only MLB home since he debuted in the summer of 2015, and he's also said he's willing to remain with the club on a new contract. Lindor is the top prize in the eyes of most fans, however, and the Mets having him as only a one-season rental if he isn't locked down as the new face of the franchise won't sit well with such customers.