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.
Sydney Blue Sox release Ramirez
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 Monday 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.
Longtime baseball adviser, major league coach and former player Joe Amalfitano is calling it a career following 67 years in professional baseball.
Amalfitano retiring at 87
The San Francisco Giants announced Sunday that Amalfitano is retiring just shy of his 87th birthday Jan. 23 after 30 years and six stints with the club.
Amalfitano, a career. 244 hitter with nine homers and 123 RBIs over 10 big league seasons, had most recently been Giants special assistant of player development and spent 16 years in San Francisco's baseball operations department.
He served as a senior advisor to baseball operations for the Dodgers from 2002-04 after concluding his major league coaching career with Los Angeles as the late Tommy Lasorda's third base coach from 1983-98. Signed by the New York Giants in 1954, Amalfitano also coached with the Cubs from 1967-71 and 1978-81, the Giants (1972-75), the Padres (1976-77) and the Reds (1982).