Mets Extensions: On Why Conforto Is A Better Priority Bet Than Lindor

Mets Extensions? Conforto and Lindor (NY Post)

Mets extensions for Michael Conforto and Francisco Lindor are reportedly underway. But overall, team strategy says get Mike, wait on Frankie.

Mets contract extensions for Michael Conforto and Francisco Lindor, instead of pending free agency following this year’s World Series for both players, is a hot topic in the world of baseball today.

In theory, the Mets can open the Steve Cohen vault to go all out in signing both to exorbitant contracts that would shake the rafters under MLB and its team owners.

But beyond the finances is an argument for the Mets to refrain from doing so, not in the interests of major league baseball but for the team itself.

Mets Extensions: Why Conforto And Not Lindor

Let’s begin with two illustrations that, put together, make a strong case for prioritizing Conforto over Lindor, solely in terms of Mets extensions before the 2021 season begins.

According to Spotrac, here are the top-rated outfielders in the Class of 2022 free-agent class:

Without argument, Michael Conforto, when cast with his aging peers, will be the most sought-after outfielder when the free-agent sweepstakes get underway in December.

In contrast, Spotrac’s depiction for 2022 shortstops eligible for free agency casts a wide neck of All-Stars, who, in a game of eeny meeny miny moe, suggests that no matter which way a team goes in choosing a player to pursue actively – they can’t lose.

The Conforto Scenario

Remembering that Conforto’s agent is Scott Boras, a man who routinely encourages his players to forego an extension in favor of entering the free market, here is a scenario in which Conforto is likely to be asking himself.

Michael Conforto - Is the bar set high enough? (Photo:
Michael Conforto – Is the bar set high enough? (Photo:

Do I (Conforto) want the opportunity to be the next David Wright, warmly regarded and one of the few Mets players to play his entire career wearing orange and blue?

Or, is the grass greener ($$) on the other side, and the hell with it? I’ll take the money because I’m “it” next year in the pool of outfielders, even if it means playing for another team somewhere in the vast North American continent?

Scott Boras encourages, but he doesn’t rule, and the final decision always rests with the player he represents.

Now from the Mets extension perspective, here is an excellent summary of Michael Conforto’s horizon by Anthony DiComo, from MLB:

A recent study suggested that an extension for Conforto could cost the Mets roughly $115-125 million over six seasons, on top of any other roster upgrades they still plan to make.

In their first offseason under Cohen, the Mets have committed a combined $56.1 million to reliever Trevor May and catcher James McCann.

More big contracts could be coming as the Mets pursue upgrades in their rotation and outfield, likely shopping near the top of both markets.Anthony DiComo - MLB

Again, it’s not a matter of money with the Mets. Instead, it’s more a battle deciding how to spend it (wisely). Steve Cohen did not become a multi-billionaire by making rash decisions with the money he has earned when it comes to his business ventures.

The Lindor Scenario

Although the balance tips in favor of Lindor settling nicely into the New York media spotlight, there is still the reality that he has yet to have an official at-bat wearing a Mets uniform.

Francisco Lindor: Mets Athletic Shortstop Wonder (Getty)
Francisco Lindor: Mets Athletic Shortstop Wonder (Getty)

Sensing the Mets extension urgency, Lindor has repeatedly said he will not engage in contract talks once the season is underway (now T-Minus twelve and counting).

Looking behind at the massive 14-year, $340 million contract signed by Fernando Tatis Jr., while looking ahead at the strength of the competition he will face on the open market, is that enough to push Lindor to accept a Mets extension offer?

Adding to the drama is Lindor’s self-professed claim as the “best shortstop in baseball today.” The funny thing is he might just be (that).

But from where the Mets stand regarding extensions, their best sense of what to do may very well be to go through the dance as though both sides are seriously considering an extension for Lindor while simultaneously going full-bore to haul in Michael Conforto.

Unless the Mets wish to find themselves in a situation where they compete against themselves, while some yet-to-be-named team swoops in to drive Conforto’s free-agency price up (and you know that will happen), then why not put an end to it all now?

Francisco Lindor is a better player than Michael Conforto. If not for the wealth of talent available in next year’s shortstop free-agency class, Lindor would be the Mets extension priority. Alas, that is the quandary of free-agency in MLB today…

Like Trevor Bauer, Manny Machado, Gerrit Cole, and a few others, some get to reap the rewards of being a rare gold nugget among a field of prospectors looking to cash in. In a smaller measure, Michael Conforto stands alone in the Class of 2002 outfield free agents.

Assuming the Mets wish to retain him, while given the fan appeal of Conforto and his ever-increasing presence in the Mets lock room – it behooves the Mets front office to extend the lasso rope in a player with a proven track record while playing for the Mets.

Mets Extensions: Sometimes, Caution Is The Better Part Of Valor

Sometimes, caution is the better part of valor. When it comes to Mets extension – a bird in the hand now (Conforto) is worth two in the bush, who can still be had if separated and targeted among the shortstops available come December.

In terms of strategy over the next ten to thirteen days, the matter of Mets extensions, even beyond the final 26 who make it to face the Nationals on Opening day, deserves to be where it is at the forefront of discussion today.

I’d take Mike (if I could) and wait on Frankie. What say you?

Here’s A Few Reader Reactions To This Article

Conforto isn’t a priority and neither is Lindor. Let them earn their contracts. If Lindor has another .258 season, what will you pay him? If Conforto hurts his shoulder again what will he be worth? Sure they’re talented and valuable but let them play another season before rewarding them.
Lindor will be the face of the organization – if we extend him. Otherwise, he will be treated as a one-year rental. Doesn’t anyone remember Piazza? How we treated him before he signed? Because he didn’t know if he would be with us long term? We cheered for him, but we didn’t give him our hearts until he signed and we knew he wanted to be with us. When you have a future Hall of Famer on the roster, you don’t lose him. I think Uncle Steve is smart enough to realize this.
I thought the bad decisions left with the old ownership? So is it actually Sandy screwing things up? Of course, I want Conforto but come on Lindor is a no-brainer..
This obsession with a guy who is an average fielder and a career .259 hitter needs to stop. Mets fans fall in love with their own players way too much. Braves, Marlins, National and Phillies have all won WS more recently – start paying for top talent. Lindor and whomever else.


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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.