Francisco Lindor
Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

The Mets’ extension talks with pending free agent Francisco Lindor are “expected to begin in earnest this week,” according to sources. Lindor, who is due to make $22.3 million this year, can become a free agent after this season. The sides already concluded a successful negotiation on Lindor’s salary for this season when they avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year deal.

Lindor could end up with a deal worth more than $300 million. The 27-year-old shortstop has said he does not want to negotiate once the season starts on April 1.

As far as Lindor’s desire to not have negotiations drag beyond Opening Day, Alderson said that they’ve taken that request at “face value” and will make “every effort” to see what can be done by Opening Day. However, Alderson doesn’t necessarily view it as a hard deadline.

The same source said the Mets plan to handle their extension candidates one at a time, meaning they will work on completing a Lindor deal before pivoting to Michael Conforto and, possibly, Noah Syndergaard. The team has not commented on the talks.

When the Mets acquired Lindor and Carlos Carrasco from the Indians on Jan. 7 in a six-player blockbuster, team officials spoke openly of their desire to extend him. Lindor since being acquired has maintained that he is open to signing a long-term deal before hitting free agency.

“With respect to Lindor, we made the trade,” Mets president Sandy Alderson said recently. “That doesn’t mean necessarily that we are guaranteed to have him long term. But I think we’re committed to talking about it.”

Lindor is a career .285/.346/.488 hitter with 138 homers, 99 steals, two Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers and four All-Star appearances over six years with the Indians.

“The great thing about this is I have an amazing agent, David Meter, and he’s going to handle all of that,” Lindor said. “That’s his job. That’s why he gets paid. So let him handle all that, and then he’s going to call me and keep me in the loop obviously, and then it’s going to be a decision after that. So let him have all the headaches, let him run all the numbers and stuff. He’s got to chew it up and then give it to me.”

The Mets do have some leverage in that as star shortstops Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Javier Báez and Carlos Correa are all due to become free agents after this season, so if team officials cannot come to terms on an extension for Francisco Lindor, they will have options to replace him next winter.

There could be some caution from both sides considering the he has played zero games with his new team. Lindor is also coming off a relatively disappointing 2020 where he had a career-low .258 average with eight home runs in 60 games.

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