Opening Day is just a few hours away, and the New York Mets and star shortstop Francisco Lindor, who is on the last year of arbitration and will be a free agent after the season, remain apart by about $60 million in his contract extension negotiations.
The Mets acquired Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco at the start of the year in a trade. New York knew that Lindor was going to command a contract north of $300 million, but they didn’t expect his asking price to approach $400 million.
Right now, the Mets are offering a 10-year pact worth $325 million, while Lindor’s camp is asking for a 12-year commitment worth $385 million. The player established Opening Day as a hard deadline for contract negotiations.
“Lindor is a heckuva player and a great guy,” Mets’ owner Steve Cohen said. “I hope he decides to sign.” Cohen and Lindor reportedly had dinner over the weekend to discuss a potential agreement, but as of Wednesday morning, the two sides aren’t close. That could change, though.
The Mets could be approaching record territory
For reference, the 12-year, $385 million contract would be the second-largest guaranteed pact in American professional sports history, behind only Mike Trout’s Angels deal worth $426.5 million.
“I hope they pay him $400 million,” Mets’ teammate Pete Alonso said of Lindor. “He’s worth every penny.”
Cohen’s tone is that of a disappointed man about the turn that the negotiations have taken in the last few days. He also said that “it takes two to tango,” clearly referencing that he wants Lindor to lower his demands.
There no teasing going on. I have made a great offer . It does take two to tango
— Steven Cohen (@StevenACohen2) March 30, 2021
Here are the largest contracts in MLB history, per the league’s official site:
Mike Trout, Angels: 12 years, $426.5 million
Mookie Betts, Dodgers: 12 years, $365 million
Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres: 14 years, $340 million
Bryce Harper, Nationals: 13 years, $330 million
Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (signed with the Miami Marlins): 13 years, $325 million