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 didnâ€™t expect his asking price to approach $400 million.
Right now, the Mets are offering a 10-year pact worth $325 million, while Lindorâ€™s camp is asking for a 12-year commitment worth $385 million. The player established Opening Day as a hard deadline for contract negotiations.
â€œLindor is a heckuva player and a great guy,â€ Metsâ€™ owner Steve Cohen said. â€œI hope he decides to sign.â€ Cohen and Lindor reportedly had dinner over the weekend to discuss a potential agreement, but as of Wednesday morning, the two sides arenâ€™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 Troutâ€™s Angels deal worth $426.5 million.
â€œI hope they pay him $400 million,â€ Metsâ€™ teammate Pete Alonso said of Lindor. â€œHeâ€™s worth every penny.â€
Cohenâ€™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 â€œit takes two to tango,â€ 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 leagueâ€™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