Discussions about long-term contract extensions for shortstop Francisco Lindor and rightfielder Michael Conforto have been strictly internal, Mets acting general manager Zack Scott said Friday. But he suspects that will change soon.
"The best time to do that is in spring training, and I think we’ll have those conversations," he said Friday, referencing the industry norm of those types of deals coming together around this time of year. "We want to have those conversations. The focus has been on building the best roster we can for 2021 and that could still be ongoing, but that’s an important thing for us to at least talk to players about the potential for those types of deals."
Lindor and Conforto are scheduled to become free agents after this season. Both have expressed an openness to staying with the Mets without hitting the open market but don’t want to let contract talks linger into the regular season. Neither has gone public with a hard deadline.
The Mets faced a similar situation in 2019 when Jacob deGrom, coming off his first Cy Young Award-winning season, said his interest in talking about an extension would last only until the end of spring training. He and the team agreed to a deal on the last day of camp.
Such a preference increases the importance of the coming weeks.
"That’s a common thing and I completely respect it," Scott said. "There should be plenty of time to talk through this before the season starts to figure out if there’s something to be done or not."
Spring training changes
In the updated exhibition schedule released Friday, the Mets will play 24 games from March 1-29. They will play six games each against the Marlins, Cardinals, Nationals and Astros.
MLB rejiggered the schedule to avoid cross-state bus rides. For the Mets, that means staying on the east coast of Florida, within about an hour drive of Port St. Lucie.
The Mets will allow up to approximately 1,400 fans into each home game. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 20 (earlier for season-ticket holders).
So long, Sanchez
The Mets traded catcher Ali Sanchez to the Cardinals for cash. They designated him for assignment Wednesday.
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