After a four-year drought from the postseason, the New York Mets enter the 2021 season with high expectations. The front office added starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco, relievers Trevor May and Aaron Loup, and catcher James McCann to bolster their current roster. The biggest transaction of the offseason was signing shortstop Francisco Lindor to a one-year, $22.3 million deal.
According to reports, the two sides have been enduring ongoing negotiations leading up to Opening Day. The latest figure offered by the Mets included a 10-year, $325 million extension which Lindor rejected. In return, Lindor’s camp is seeking out a deal worth $385 million across 12 seasons.
Other Lucrative Deals
The extension sought out by Lindor would fall short of San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr, who signed a 14-year, $340 million deal en route to becoming the highest-paid shortstop ever. Lindor, 27, would technically be guaranteed the most “new money” with a $385 million contract, surpassing Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts.
The $22.3 million Lindor is scheduled to make in the 2021 season is the highest among all shortstops. The next-highest total would be Boston Red Sox’s Xander Bogaerts, who is projected to make $22 million this season.
Upcoming Free Agency Class
The 2022 free agency class is stacked when it comes to the shortstop position. Other players expected to hit the open market include Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Trevor Story and Javier Báez. While Lindor would likely be the most attractive option to suitors, it does place him within a competitive market.
The Mets are also expected to undergo contract extension talks with starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard and outfielder Michael Conforto in the upcoming offseason. Lindor would the priority in any extension talks, but does waiting until next offseason hurt his chances at a higher payday?
The Production of Lindor
While Lindor has yet to play a regular season game as a member of the New York Mets, his production value is among the elite talents the league has to offer. In a shortened 2020 season, he appeared in all 60 games and slashed a .258/.335/.415 with the Cleveland Indians. His totals included eight home runs to go with 27 RBIs.
The Spring Training efforts of Lindor have not gone unnoticed either. He has slashed a .370/.433/.630 across 54 at-bats. The four-time All-Star has drawn six walks while surrendering six strikeouts as well.
According to Baseball Reference, Lindor is currently projected for a .269 batting average along with 28 home runs and 73 RBIs in the 2021 season. Excluding the 2020 season, Lindor has been considered in the top 10 of MVP voting in three of the previous four seasons.