Francisco Lindor spoke to reporters via Zoom on Monday after he was traded from Cleveland to the New York Mets. He said he is open to talking about a long-term contract with the Mets, but will not negotiate after spring training starts. New York Mets via AP

NEW YORK — Francisco Lindor smiled widely for a full 40 minutes, enthralled to join a New York Mets team bulking up under new owner Steven Cohen.

“They say it’s probably very contagious,” the Mets’ new shortstop said. “I’m living my dream. I’m living the life I always wanted, so I don’t see why not.”

Cleveland traded the four-time All-Star to New York along with pitcher Carlos Carrasco on Thursday for infielders Andrés Giménez and Amed Rosario plus a pair of minor league prospects, right-hander Josh Wolf and outfielder Isaiah Greene.

“I’m excited to be with the Mets organization. I’m not against a long term. I’m not against it,” Lindor said in a news conference from Florida, wearing his new team’s royal blue cap. “It has to make sense of both sides.”

Lindor said he would not want to negotiate once he starts spring training, preferring to focus then on playing and hopefully winning. He earned $6,481,481 prorated from a $17.5 million salary last year, is eligible for arbitration next month and can become a free agent after this season. His agent, Dave Meter, had discussed a long-term deal with the Indians.

“We talked and we gave it our best effort on both sides,” Lindor said.

But the Indians did not think they could afford a multiyear contract with the 27-year-old, so they chose to make the trade.

Cohen, a billionaire hedge fund manager, bought the Mets on Nov. 6 from the Wilpon and Katz families. The Mets had the third-highest payroll last year behind the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees, and the Mets’ offseason has included giving pitcher Marcus Stroman an $18.9 million, one-year deal; injured right-hander Noah Syndergaard a $9.7 million, one-year contract; right-handed reliever Trevor May a $15.5 million, two-year agreement; and catcher James McCann a $40.6 million, four-year deal.

Outfielder George Springer and second baseman DJ LeMahieu remain possibilities among free agents.

“I’m one of the faces. I embrace that,” Lindor said. “I have never been the type of player where it’s like, follow me, I’ll lead you to the success. No, I’ve always been a person that together we all are going to achieve what we want. And that’s what I bring. That’s what I’m bringing. I’m bringing my, ‘Hey guys. let’s find a way to do this together. I know you guys have a great thing going on. I just want to be a little piece of that puzzle.’”

He hoped to remain with the Indians but said “they didn’t come up with that number.” He praised Cleveland but looked ahead enthusiastically.

“Cleveland is a great place, is a great city. I love the Indians. I love everybody in the organization,” he said, while knowing “if there is something missing, we’re going to go get it and we’re going to find a way.”

MANNY RAMIREZ has been released by the Sydney Blue Sox because of uncertainty over the Australian Baseball League season during the COVID-19 pandemic and a medical issue that is preventing him from playing or training with the club.

Blue Sox Chief Executive Adam Dobb issued a statement announcing the decision, saying it was extremely disappointing to cut the 48-year-old former Boston Red Sox player and 12-time major league All-Star, “but we owe it to our fans and the other teams to make a decision now.”

“The level of investment to get him here meant this was never a PR stunt,” Cobb said. “It was never was our intention to have him NOT participate in the ABL this season.”

Ramirez did not make an appearance with the Blue Sox, who played just two games — on Dec. 17 and 18 — before a coronavirus outbreak in Sydney and subsequent border and travel restrictions prevented the club from competing.

Cobb said he was unable to comment further on Ramirez or the undisclosed medical condition, adding that the club was “doing everything we can to get restarted.”

Ramirez, who was the World Series MVP when the Red Sox broke their 86-year title drought in 2004, had played in the American minor leagues, as well as in China and Japan, since his MLB career ended.


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