Francisco Lindor is heading into the final year of his contract, which also happens to be his first year with the New York Mets. He's set a hard deadline of Opening Day to get a contract extension done with his new team, On Monday night, he countered New York's latest offer of 10 years and $325 million with a monster proposal.
The Mets offer wasn't close to enough for Lindor, who is now asking for $385 million over 12 years, which works out to an average of more than $32.1 million a year. It would be the second-biggest deal in Major League Baseball history in terms of total money and would put him among the MLB's highest paid players on a per-year basis. It would take him into his age 39 season and pay him handsomely the entire time.
I think it's fair to expect the two sides to come to some sort of agreement in the middle of those two numbers, if they do, indeed, get a deal done. Either way, Lindor is asking for a ton of cash from new Mets owner Steve Cohen, who took over the franchise promising to be bold.
Lindor had his best season in 2018, hitting .277, while belting 38 home runs, driving in 92 RBIs, posting an OPS of .871 and a 7.7 fWAR. He followed that up in 2019 by hitting .284 with 32 home runs and 74 RBIs, with an OPS of .854 and a 4.5 fWAR. He was among the elite players in the game after that season and seemed destined to remain there for a long time.
Unfortunately, Lindor's production fell off in 2020 during the COVID-shortened season, posting an OPS of only .750 and an fWAR of 1.8. It was a struggle, which is probably what made it easier for the Cleveland Indians to trade him away this offseason.
The Mets have to believe they're getting the four-time All-Star version of Lindor, not the guy who struggled to adjust to the 2020 season. If they think he'll be back to his old self during the prime of his career, they must get a deal done quickly. New York simply can't allow him to get away in free agency.