Report: Mets make final offer to Lindor

March 30th, 2021

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Report: Mets make final offer to Lindor

The Mets appear to be serious about inking star shortstop Francisco Lindor to a contract extension before opening their 2021 season on Thursday, but the two sides are facing a wide gap in their negotiations with little time remaining.

On one hand, New York has made Lindor a 10-year, $325 million final offer, a source told MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. SNY's Andy Martino was first to report the development. On the other hand, that would leave the Mets significantly short of meeting Lindor's asking price of 12 years and $385 million, according to DiComo.

Talk of an extension has circulated since the Mets acquired Lindor in a trade with Cleveland in early January and has ramped up of late, with Lindor stating that he does not want to continue negotiations into the regular season. Recently, Lindor dined with new Mets owner Steve Cohen, who had jokingly turned to Twitter to crowdsource the size of a contract offer.

Lindor is currently set to reach free agency after this season. The reported 10-year offer would not be as large as the 14-year, $340 million deal fellow shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. recently signed with the Padres, but at 27, Lindor is five years older than Tatis. A $325 million commitment still would tie Giancarlo Stanton for the fourth-largest extension by total dollars in MLB history, while a $385 million deal would set a new record. Meanwhile, either number would blow away the previous record for the largest contract in Mets history, set by David Wright’s eight-year, $138 million extension in 2008.

With negotiation deadline looming, Cohen dines with Lindor

March 28: One day after crowdsourcing Francisco Lindor contract offers on Twitter, Mets owner Steve Cohen had dinner with the superstar shortstop in Florida on Saturday, a source told MLB.com's Anthony DiComo.

Cohen confirmed the dinner on Twitter, responding to a tweet from ESPN's Jeff Passan about the meeting and saying, "The ravioli wasn't very good."

According to Passan, there remains hope that the two sides will be able to reach an agreement by Opening Day on Thursday, which is the deadline Lindor has set for contract negotiations.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported last week that the Mets were willing to go to $300 million to get a deal done with the 27-year-old Lindor, who was acquired from Cleveland in February along with right-hander Carlos Carrasco for four players. Lindor can become a free agent after 2021.

Coming off a disappointing season at the plate in 2020 (.750 OPS), Lindor has been swinging a hot bat this spring, bringing a .388 average with four homers and a 1.098 OPS into Sunday’s action.

Report: Mets willing to go to $300M for Lindor

March 21: The Mets are willing to go to $300 million to re-sign shortstop Francisco Lindor, according to a report from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

The Mets acquired Lindor and right-hander Carlos Carrasco from the Indians in January, sending Cleveland Andrés Giménez, Amed Rosario, Josh Wolf and Isaiah Greene.

The shortstop has set Opening Day as a deadline for extension talks.

Per Heyman, the Mets’ initial offers were below the $300 million mark, while Lindor is looking for more than that. The club is willing to compromise to get a deal done, but is Lindor?

Lindor just saw Fernando Tatis Jr. get $340 million over 14 years from the Padres, with $306 million coming in the final 10 years of the deal, covering what would have been Tatis’ free-agent years.

It's possible Lindor is looking to top that $306 million figure on his own 10-year deal, and if he doesn't get what he wants from the Mets, he knows he can test the open market after this season.

Granted, waiting on a deal has its risks. Lindor could get hurt or have another down season at the plate after recording a 102 OPS+ in 2020 (119 from ’15-19). He also has to keep in mind that the shortstop market will be saturated with big names, as Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Trevor Story and Javier Báez also are eligible for free agency after 2021. So maybe $300 million will prove to be the magic number for the two sides.

Alderson: Expect extension talks to begin "soon"

Mar. 1: Mets president Sandy Alderson told reporters Monday that he expects extension conversations with Francisco Lindor and Michael Conforto will start "relatively soon." On Conforto, the right fielder the Mets drafted in the first round in 2014, also under Alderson, he noted the outfielder's leadership in the clubhouse and value added to the team. "I think if it's possible, we’ll try to make the effort to keep Michael with us," Alderson said.

He noted that the trade for All-Star shortstop Lindor did not guarantee he would be with the club long-term, but said “I think we’re committed to talking about it.”

How might Tatis’ deal impact shortstop market?

Feb. 18: Has Fernando Tatis Jr.’s 14-year, $340 million contract with the Padres set a target mark for Francisco Lindor and Trevor Story? MLB Network Radio analyst Jim Duquette made that case Thursday.

Tatis’ deal covers his final four years before he would have been eligible for free agency, plus another 10 years, with an average annual value of $24 million.

“Tatis is signed up for four more years before he could even become a free agent, so it becomes a 10-year deal [after 2024] somewhere in that high [200 million range],” Duquette said. “That part of it, for me, if I’m Lindor, I’m looking obviously north in total dollars, north of Tatis, once you try to break that part of it down. I don’t know if he can get there, I think he should. Story should definitely get in that range [too].

“Tatis hasn’t been on the scene long enough for me to put him No. 1 [among shortstops]. With all the great shortstops in the sport. Will he get there at the end of this year? Maybe. So Lindor, who I think is still the No. 1 guy, or Story, those two guys, they have to be north of Tatis.”

Mookie Betts’ 12-year, $365 million deal with the Dodgers, Bryce Harper’s 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies and Manny Machado’s 10-year, $300 million deal with the Padres could also be viewed as models for the type of contract Lindor and Story are seeking.