New owner Steve Cohen‘s purchase of the team was the most monumental moment of the New York Mets’ offseason. The trade for Cleveland Indians superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor comes in a close second, and signaled that the team is ready to compete under its new ownership.
Of course, the Lindor move would have lost a lot of its luster if the Mets weren’t able to sign him to a long term contract. He was set to become a free agent at the end of the 2021 season, and put forth a deadline of Opening Day to reach a new deal with the team.
Over the last few weeks, reports were that the negotiations had gotten contentious, with Lindor initially asking for $400 million, and only coming down to $375 million, while the Mets were holding firm at $325 million. About 30 minutes before Jon Heyman broke the news that a deal was done, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the two sides weren’t close. And then late last night, not long before the clock struck midnight on what was supposed to be the Mets’ Opening Day, the two sides reached a deal.
The star shortstop signed a 10-year contract worth $341 million. It doesn’t begin until next season, so Lindor is locked in for 11 years with the club, and will make over $362 million in total. The Mets’ game against the Washington Nationals has been postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the Nats’ clubhouse, but the Mets and Lindor held a virtual press conference at 3 p.m. ET today, where he revealed just how excited he was to hear that his deal with the team was done.
Francisco Lindor on reaction after hearing his $341 million deal was final: 'I wanted to yell, I wanted to scream, but I was stuck in my hotel room.''
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) April 1, 2021
“Mr. Smile” says he’s disappointed that he won’t get to play tonight, but the Mets and their fans are still flying high after last night’s news. His answer to a question about how he’ll look at the end of this extremely long contract is making its way around Twitter, and for good reason.
Francisco Lindor on what kind of player he'll be at the end of his Mets contract: "I'll be a bad motherf'er."
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) April 1, 2021
Francisco Lindor, whose new deal is the third-biggest in MLB history, will be in his late 30s when his deal with the New York Mets runs up. If he continues his annual All-Star-level play for the team, and helps reinvigorate the franchise, it will be well worth it, even if he isn’t quite a “bad motherf***er” in 2031.