Mets legend Mike Piazza talks possible Francisco Lindor extension, whether star is a fit for New York

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Scott Thompson
·3 min read
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Francisco Lindor smiles at first base after getting a hit spring training close crop
Francisco Lindor smiles at first base after getting a hit spring training close crop

Where Francisco Lindor finds himself with the Mets right now is how Mike Piazza felt back in 1998. He was traded from the then-Florida Marlins to the Mets with only half a year left until he was a free agent.

Of course, one of the biggest storylines this offseason was not only Lindor's trade from the Cleveland Indians to the Mets, but more importantly, whether or not they would extend the soon-to-be free agent. And Lindor set a deadline this spring: If a deal isn't finished by Opening Day, then he'll play out the season and make his decision once the 2021 campaign is complete.

So what does Piazza think about the whole situation? He believes a decision like the one Lindor will make needs to come naturally.

"I was fortunate to have a nice conversation with him today and he, again, seems like he has such a good head on his shoulder. Obviously a great player. My only advice to him is just go out and play," Piazza told reporters. "We used to say when I played: players play, coaches coach, managers manager, writers write. You just do your job and try not to get wrapped up in [it].

"I think all of us are human so we kinda always want to know where we’re going to be, kinda want to have control of our destiny.”

Lindor, of course, wants to make the right call for himself and his family as well as his career aspirations like winning a World Series. Piazza recognizes that the team around him at the moment is a good one, and that could go a long way in making that call.

"I just think there’s a spiritual component to it. He just has to go out and get comfortable. The fact he has such a good team around him is important as well," Piazza explained. "For me, there was also the human element. We were at a time with the team that we knew we were trying to win, so we were going to put some pieces in place to try and make that happen."

Piazza mentioned players like John Olerud, Rey Ordonez, Edargo Alfonzo and others that made him feel at home in '98 when he was thinking about the next step.

Lindor seems to be loving his new teammates just based off what we've seen from him during spring training. If it comes down to it and an extension can't be figured out before the start of the year, maybe that connection will build with Lindor and the team to the point where he does, in fact, pick the Mets and figure out a deal later down the road.

There's also the factor of being a professional athlete in New York and being able to deal with that pressure everyone always talks about. Lindor is no stranger to pressure, and Piazza feels he won't be bothered by the extra attention at all.

"So far, I do. There are some factors are far as teammates, management. You have to have a good support system," he said.

"You got to have fun. You got to enjoy the people you work with. I think that translates to success on the field."

Either way, Piazza doesn't feel the decision ultimately needs to be rushed.

"Put your numbers up and if it’s meant to be, he’s going to be here," he said.