WASHINGTON – After a drawn-out, suspenseful final 72 hours, Francisco Lindor and the Mets agreed to a deal that will keep the superstar shortstop in Queens long term.
Lindor accepted a 10-year deal worth $341 million late Wednesday night, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations. The contract begins in 2022, per a source, which means Lindor will be 38 years old by the time it ends. The deal does include deferrals, but no opt-outs.
Both sides reached an agreement with less than an hour to go before Lindor’s self-imposed Opening Day deadline. About 45 minutes before midnight, when the schedule would officially – finally – turn to the day of the Mets’ first game in the Steve Cohen era, Lindor came down from his original reported 12-year, $385 million asking price.
After Cohen went to dinner with Lindor in Port St. Lucie on Sunday night (bad ravioli, said Cohen, and Lindor got the chicken parm), he and the Mets offered what they thought was a fair 10-year deal worth $325 million, according to a source. Since Monday morning, when that offer became public, a source described it as the Mets’ “best and final.” The club was unwilling to meet Lindor’s request for $60 million more, over 12 years, until Wednesday night. The jump to 10-years, $341 became the magic number
Now, the Mets can head into Opening Day with their fan base happy and one of the best shortstops in the game signed to a long-term deal.
Lindor now owns the third-richest contract in MLB, following only Mike Trout (12 years, $426.5 million) and Mookie Betts (12 years, $365 million). His average annual value comes out to $34.1 million.
The pre-Cohen Mets were not known to be big spenders, and the Lindor contract is easily their largest in franchise history. David Wright ($138 million) doesn’t even come close, and neither does Jacob deGrom ($137.5 million).
Cohen made his first major splash as owner with the blockbuster trade that brought Lindor and Carlos Carrasco to the Mets in January. But he lived up to his expectations and words, some of which were on Twitter, when he put hundreds of millions of dollars on the table for Lindor.
“I can promise you we’re going to act like a major market team,” Cohen said in November.
Cohen said he was reluctant to “act like drunk sailors in the marketplace,” but he spent big, and more importantly, closed the deal when it counted. There’s only one thing left to do: watch Lindor jog out to shortstop and embrace the moment.