Francisco Lindor Signs Mega-Extension With Mets

Francisco Lindor Signs Mega-Extension With Mets

Jack Kelly, Staff Writer

The New York Mets have made their first major commitment in the Steve Cohen ownership. After acquiring superstar shortstop, Francisco Lindor, in a six-player deal in January, the Mets and Lindor were able to agree to the third largest contract in MLB history. This deal is ten years long and worth $341 million, which is by far the largest deal given out by the Mets. This key extension brings the fan base the most excitement they have had in decades.

Lindor has been one of the league’s best players since he was called up in 2015, and is still just 27 years old. In his six year career with the Cleveland Indians, Lindor was four time all-star, two time gold glove and silver slugger winner, and even won the platinum glove, awarded to the best defender at any position. With such an impressive resume in his young career, a big extension was very deserving for a player of Lindor’s caliber, and it was just a matter of if the Mets and Lindor’s camp could come to an agreement before his self imposed deadline of opening day. Throughout the spring, Lindor reiterated time and again that he would not be negotiating any contract extension once the regular season started, putting a clock on the Mets ability to lock up their franchise cornerstone. 

Once Lindor was acquired by the Mets in January, many reporters and fans saw the situation very similar to the one of superstar outfielder Mookie Betts in 2020. Betts was traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the final year of his contract, and then later signed a 12 year contract worth $365 million. The negotiation process of the two contracts were different, as Betts waited until the restart of the season that was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With both superstars eventually being signed, two of the league’s biggest stars are in the two largest markets at the second (Betts) and third (Lindor) largest contracts ever given out in baseball for the next decade plus.

The negotiation process was long, as Lindor signed just about 45 minutes until his self imposed deadline of opening day. In the days leading up to the deal, it was reported by multiple MLB sources that the Mets and Steve Cohen had their “best and final” offer of ten years at $325 million dollars, starting in 2022. On the other side of the table, it was reported that Lindor and his agents, David Meter from SportsMeter, wanted a 12 year deal worth $385 million. On the day of the deal, it was rumored that both sides had not talked to each other and this seemed destined for Lindor to test the market after this season, as there was a lot of pessimism around the process. But as we all know, deadlines make deals, and this was the case yet again with Lindor and the Mets. The final deal came in at ten years for $341 million dollars, a number that we should have seen coming.

This contract should come as no surprise, as San Diego Padres franchise shortstop Fernando Tatis signed a 14 year contract worth $340 million deal, after just two half seasons in the league. Lindor and Tatis are two of the best shortstops in the league, but based on the track record of Lindor, you can see why he wanted more total money than Tatis. 

For luxury tax purposes, Lindor’s contract will account for $34.1 million annually starting in 2022 and running through 2031. In less significant purposes, since the extension doesn’t take place until after this season, Lindor will still earn the $22.3 million he was awarded in arbitration for 2021. This means that Lindor will be a Met for the next 11 years and earn $363.3 million from the team. Another under the radar aspect of this deal is that Lindor is also received a signing bonus that he gets in 2021 for $21 million, meaning that Lindor will bring home $43.3 million this year alone. This is important to note, as MLB’s Collective Bargaining Agreement expires at the end of the season, and with labor tensions between the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball, a lockout unfortunately seems possible, therefore it seems like Lindor is taking all the money upfront. The deal also includes $50 million in defferals (at $5 million each year starting in 2032 and ending in 2041).

The Mets next step regarding possible extensions point towards outfielder Michael Conforto and starting pitchers Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman and Jacob deGrom, with Conforto and Syndergaard being the most urgent of the four, as their contracts expire at the end of the season.