By early January 2021, the New York Mets had already made several high-profile trades and signings that far exceeded their usual Wilpon-era offseason haul. On December 1, 2020, the Mets signed righty reliever Trevor May to a two-year, $15.5 million contract, counting on him to be a reliable force in the back of the bullpen. A couple of weeks later, the Mets addressed their gaping hole at catcher by signing James McCann to a four-year, $40.6 million deal.
Then, on January 7, 2021, the Mets pulled off one of the biggest blockbuster deals in the franchise’s history when they traded with the Cleveland Indians for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco. All four of these players figure to be crucial components to the team’s on-field success in 2021, and Mets fans are largely very excited about all of them.
Though many Mets fans have become familiar with what Lindor, Carrasco, McCann, and May have to offer on the field, all four players have also done some fun “getting to know you” interviews in recent weeks. These videos gave them a chance to show Mets fans their personalities and off-the-field interests. Here are some “fun facts” about four of the Mets’ biggest offseason additions that may not show up on their baseball card or Baseball-Reference page.
Meet the Mets: Francisco Lindor
Much has been made so far about Francisco Lindor’s Gold Glove defense at shortstop and his potent bat at the plate, but Lindor is also well known across baseball for his megawatt smile. In a recent interview with Mets public address announcer Marysol Castro, he shed some light on the origins of his famous grin, which apparently wasn’t always as stunning as it is now.
“I had braces, my teeth were like neighbors who had never met before,” confessed Lindor in this recent one-on-one. “Now, they’ve met, and they get along, and I put a retainer in there. They gotta stay together, they’re not separating!”
It seems like the man known throughout MLB as “Mr. Smile” has no intention of surrendering this title any time soon, even to other famous smilers on the Mets like Mr. “Happiest Man in Baseball” himself, Brandon Nimmo.
Though Lindor hails from Puerto Rico, his favorite foods are pizza and lasagna. Coming to New York, a city known for its pizza and Italian cuisine, Lindor will hopefully feel right at home.
“I’ll eat pizza all day, every day. . . breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” emphasized Lindor to an incredulous Castro, who likely expected him to respond with a Puerto Rican dish of some sort.
Off the field, Lindor enjoys spending time with his family (he has a daughter who is just a few months old) and bike riding. His Instagram account features a recent photo of him kidded out in cycling attire, and he mentioned to Castro that he has joked with his family about competing in the Tour de France one day. He also noted that in his downtime, he enjoys “watching videos about cars and watches” as well.
When asked about his favorite kind of music, Lindor responded without hesitation, “everything but country and hard metallic rock.”
On a different music-related note, Lindor was recently featured in the music video for Bad Bunny’s song, “Yo Visto Así. ” He described the experience on set as “a lot of fun. . . it was special, for sure.”
Lindor has made a name for himself, in part, by approaching his life on and off-the-field with contagious enthusiasm and excitement. He is one of the most electrifying players in the game today, and he is determined to keep up this reputation as he begins his Mets career.
“I want people to get to know that I’m just a little kid at heart that smiles and has fun and cares about other people. This is me, this is who I am,” said Lindor to close out his interview with Castro.
Mets fans have wholeheartedly embraced Lindor so far. I have a feeling that he will further endear himself to the Flushing Faithful with his on-field play.