Mets’ Francisco Lindor has ‘341 million reasons’ to give his all

Andres Chavez
Mar 2, 2021; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) throws to first base against the Houston Astros during the third inning at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, the New York Mets and Francisco Lindor agreed to a 10-year, $341 million extension that will be added to his current one-year commitment. He will be in Queens until his age-38 season.

That way, the Mets have the star player that new owner Steve Cohen and team president Sandy Alderson coveted since they took over the organization a few months ago. Lindor is third in Wins Above Replacement, or WAR, since the 2015 season, when he made his MLB debut.

When he became the highest-paid shortstop in the world, the Mets’ star called his fiancée, then his sister, and then his dad according to the story told by MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo. He told his father he wanted to scream, but Miguel Lindor told him not to. It was late on Wednesday.

“I’m like, ‘Pops, what are you talking about?’” Francisco Lindor said, laughing. “‘You know when you drive down the highway and you see the billboard for the Powerball that says $300 million? You’re going to tell me you’re not going to scream? I’m going to scream. I want to scream.’”

“Obviously, I’ve been working for this my whole entire life. It wasn’t like I picked out a number and I got it,” he said.

The Mets could get the deal done after days of negotiations

Now, after a few days of seemingly hard stances by both camps, the Mets and the player’s, he can say he got more money than Fernando Tatis, who recently signed a 14-year, $340 deal with the San Diego Padres, and surpassed Mookie Betts’ present-day value. His plan is to make New York his home.

“I know I haven’t been to New York, but the guys, the boys made me feel comfortable around them,” Lindor said. “They made me a part of what they have in the clubhouse, and I love that. I love the opportunity that I have to bring a championship to the city of Queens.”

He is prepared to be the Mets’ franchise player. “When you talk about being the face of an organization, the face of baseball, also a Latin player,” manager Luis Rojas said, “it’s because of his personality. That should be natural for him, just because of all the things he does with his demeanor. And it’s consistent every day.”

“This logo right here means a lot,” Lindor said, pointing to the N and Y in his clothes. “I’ve got to go out there every single day and defend it, and play as hard as I can for this, for what I have on my chest. That’s what it means. That number next to me? That’s what it means. Those are 341 million reasons for me to go out there and play the game the right way.”