Mets' Sandy Alderson Expects Francisco Lindor Extension Talks to 'Start Relatively Soon'

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Opening Day is less than a month away, and the Mets are keeping an eye on their future with newly acquired shortstop Francisco Lindor and longtime outfielder Michael Conforto.

During a Zoom call with reporters on Monday, team president Sandy Alderson said he expects contract extension discussions with the two stars to start soon.

"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, via SNY. "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."

Shortly after Cleveland traded Lindor to New York this past offseason, the 27-year-old said he was open to signing a long-term deal with the Mets ahead of free agency, but wants a deal done by Opening Day. Lindor said he does not contract negotiations to drag on during the season and cause a distraction. 

Meanwhile, Conforto, who is entering his seventh year with the Mets, has also expressed interest in signing a deal before he hits the free-agent market, but he hasn't given the team a deadline.

Alderson added that the club takes Lindor's Opening Day deadline seriously and will make "every effort" to reach it, but he's not worried if negotiations extend past that date.

"On the other hand, if things don't work out between now and the end of spring training, we'll figure out a way to hopefully continue to communicate," Alderson said.

Fans will finally see Lindor in action as a Met when he plays in the club's Grapefruit League opener against the Marlins on Monday. Pete Alonso, Brandon Nimmo and J.D. Davis are also scheduled to be among New York's traveling party as they head to Jupiter, Fla.

The Mets made a huge splash this offseason by acquiring Lindor in a blockbuster trade under new owner Steve Cohen. The deal came after months of speculation regarding a potential Lindor trade. 

Lindor had been Cleveland's top player since entering the majors in 2015, but with his free agency looming in 2021, many believed the team would trade him before he hit the market. 

Lindor is a four-time All-Star with three top-10 MVP finishes in his career. He posted a career-low .750 OPS last season, but recorded 103 home runs and 329 runs scored from 2017-2019.