Ron Darling doesn’t expect any new team or new town jitters. He doesn’t believe it will take Francisco Lindor time to adjust to his new surroundings. The former Mets pitcher and SNY analyst sees an MVP caliber player elevating his new team.
“He’s one of those guys you can’t take your eyes off of because he just loves the game. He plays every day because he loves it,” Darling told Chris Russo on Sirius XM. “He’s everything you’d want in a ball player. … Not all superstars are like this. He’s a leadership kind of guy. Everything comes in that great package with Lindor. Much like [Mookie] Betts did for the Dodgers last year – now i’m not promising the Mets are going to win a world championship – but they’ll certainly be a much better team with Lindor.”
As Opening Day approaches, however, there is uncertainty if the team can close on a contract extension with Lindor, who has just one year left on his contract. The two sides are at an impasse, after the Mets offered him a 10-year deal worth $325 million and Lindor’s representatives countered with a 12-year, $385 million proposal.
“The Mets have to make it work,” Darling said. “They can probably make some arguments that they can wait until the end of the year, and there are so many other shortstops. But they want Lindor.
“They traded for Lindor. They need him here, and just like the Dodgers last year, if they had not signed Betts to a long-term contract and he was a free agent this year, it would’ve been a mess for them and it will be a mess for the Mets.”