NEW YORK – Francisco Lindor smiled widely for a full 40 minutes, enthralled to join a New York Mets team bulking up under new owner Steven Cohen.
“They say it’s probably very contagious,” the Mets' new shortstop said. “I’m living my dream. I’m living the life I always wanted, so I don’t see why not.”
Cleveland traded the four-time All-Star to New York along with pitcher Carlos Carrasco on Thursday for infielders Andrés Giménez and Amed Rosario plus a pair of minor league prospects, right-hander Josh Wolf and outfielder Isaiah Greene.
“I’m excited to be with the Mets organization. I’m not against a long term. I’m not against it,” Lindor said in a news conference from Florida, wearing his new team’s royal blue cap. “It has to make sense of both sides.”
Lindor said he would not want to negotiate once he starts spring training, preferring to focus then on playing and hopefully winning. He earned $6,481,481 prorated from a $17.5 million salary last year, is eligible for arbitration next month and can become a free agent after this season. His agent, Dave Meter, had discussed a long-term deal with the Indians.
"We talked and we gave it our best effort on both sides,” Lindor said.
But the Indians did not think they could afford a multiyear contract with the 27-year-old, so they chose to make the trade.
Cohen, a billionaire hedge fund manager, bought the Mets on Nov. 6 from the Wilpon and Katz families. The Mets had the third-highest payroll last year behind the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees, and the Mets’ offseason has included giving pitcher Marcus Stroman an $18.9 million, one-year deal; injured right-hander Noah Syndergaard a $9.7 million, one-year contract; right-handed reliever Trevor May a $15.5 million, two-year agreement; and catcher James McCann a $40.6 million, four-year deal.