If the Mets aren’t able to lock him up with an extension, Francisco Lindor could find out next offseason exactly where he stands among the game’s best shortstops.
In the meantime, the Mets’ new superstar believes he already knows the answer.
“Overall? Me,” Lindor told Sports Illustrated, when asked who is the best shortstop. “Because I will do it every single day. I count on myself every single day. Every single day. Trevor Story? I love watching him. We talk hitting and defense. The best hands at the shortstop position right now are Freddy Galvis and Andrelton Simmons. Best hitter? When [Corey] Seager is at his level I think he’s the best hitter.
“If we go tool by tool, plenty of them are better than me. [Fernando] Tatis [Jr.]? He’s incredible. And [Javier] Báez? I’ve been playing against Báez since I was growing up and it’s like, ‘Bro, how are you doing this?’
“There’s that fine balance between being confident and being cocky. Sometimes for me it’s hard to admit to myself who is the best shortstop. Why? Because of that fine balance. I’m confident. I think I’m the best shortstop.”
The Mets hope to sign Lindor to an extension before he can become a free agent next winter, after trading for him and Carlos Carrasco in a deal with the Indians in January.
But if Lindor gets to the open market, he would join a star-studded class of free-agent shortstops that is expected to include Seager, Story, Baez and Carlos Correa.
For now, the 27-year-old Lindor – a four-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove shortstop and two-time Silver Slugger – is preparing for the 2021 season, his first in a Mets uniform after a down year during the shortened 2020.