After being acquired by the New York Mets this offseason, superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor set an Opening Day deadline for a long term contract extension with the team. Tonight, about 30 minutes before the clock struck midnight and brought upon Opening Day 2021, the Mets and Lindor have reached that agreement.
This had already been a monumental offseason for the Mets. After years under the Wilpon family, the franchise was sold to hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen, who became the most wealthy owner in the MLB. The lifelong Mets fan promised to make the team quick contenders to win a World Series. Adding the four-time All-Star shortstop was a big step forward in that goal.
Now, he's a Met for the long run. The deal, first reported by Jon Heyman, is reportedly worth $341 million over 10 years. The new terms will begin in 2022. Lindor was set to hit free agency after the 2021 season, making this an important move for both sides.
The new deal is a record for a shortstop, and is the third-highest contract given to a player in MLB history. He slides in just below Mike Trout and Mookie Betts.
The timing of the deal came as a major surprise. Just about 30 minutes before Heyman broke the news, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported that the two sides were not close to the deal, with the Mets sticking to their original 10-year, $325 million offer, and Lindor, who at one point wanted $400 million, stuck at 12 years for $375 million. Passan's report was just the latest in a string of them that suggested that little progress had been made on the eve of Opening Day.
Less than an hour later, news was out that the New York Mets and Francisco Lindor had settled in the middle.
Lindor spent the first six years of his career with the Cleveland Indians. After finishing second in American Rookie of the Year voting in 2015, he was an All-Star in each of the next four year, finishing in the top 10 of MVP voting in 2016, 2017, and 2018. He won the Gold Glove in both 2016 and 2019, and the Silver Slugger Award in 2017 and 2018.
He and the Mets begin a highly-anticipated 2021 season at the Washington Nationals on Thursday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:09 p.m. ET.