What if Francisco Lindor didn’t sign an extension with the Mets?
Dustin Hoffman famously asked, “…what would the world be like without Captain Hook?”
He was eaten by a crocodile clock moments later.
I’m going to ask a different question. It’s not nearly as existential. What if Lindor played out this season without an extension already in place?
There’s a simple ending to his story in New York. Lindor played poorly enough this year for the Mets to take the loss on the trade and move on. We can only speculate as to whether or not he might have performed differently knowing he had free agency looming. Because he does give effort, it’s not fair to say he’s phoning it in because he has money coming his way.
To his credit, Lindor shows up to do the job. He might not do it well but he never gets caught playing Solitaire at his desk or that really cool space-themed pinball game all of the kids used to fight over in my 10th grade web design class. Only one computer had it available.
The Mets would always have the option of the qualifying offer to extend his way in this scenario. This would have been tricky considering he made $22.3 million in 2021—his final year before his new contract kicked in. The qualifying offer number won’t be that high so Lindor would have settled for a lesser amount. Who knows? We won’t and that’s okay.
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Lindor obviously wanted the money (who wouldn’t?) but the question remains about whether or not he’s willing to accept New York. It may take a little more time before he gets accustomed to things. If able to help the team win a championship, the transition becomes simple.