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Mets: What will it take to reach a mega-extension with Francisco Lindor?

CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 30: Shortstop Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians throws out DJ LeMahieu #26 of the New York Yankees at first during the sixth inning of Game Two of the American League Wild Card Series at Progressive Field on September 30, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Yankees defeated the Indians 10-9. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 30: Shortstop Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians throws out DJ LeMahieu #26 of the New York Yankees at first during the sixth inning of Game Two of the American League Wild Card Series at Progressive Field on September 30, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Yankees defeated the Indians 10-9. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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How much will it cost the New York Mets to extend Francisco Lindor?

The New York Mets emphatically announced their presence as a serious postseason contender with their blockbuster trade for Francisco Lindor.

The move gives the Mets a legitimate superstar shortstop with the potential to be a major difference-maker. New York also landed a quality starting pitcher in surprise addition Carlos Carrasco.

Now that the trade is official, there is just one thing left for the Mets’ front office to complete: a long-term contract with Lindor. What might it take to get this deal done? And what are the odds it is completed? Let’s discuss:

The Context

The four-time All-Star is currently slated to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2021 season. While the Mets appear to be clear winners in their trade with Cleveland, they also surrendered far too many assets for the shortstop to be a one-year rental.

Making a smooth on-field transition over the course of Spring Training and the beginning of the regular season will be important. However, resolving Lindor’s contract situation is arguably the front office’s top point of focus.

The Contract Details

While the Mets do have the benefit of the wealthiest owner in the league as an asset, a long-term deal with Lindor will likely take some time to work out. The superstar has a legitimate claim to the title of best shortstop in the league. He is also widely considered to be one of the best overall players in baseball.

For the record, Lindor played the 2020 season on a one-year, $19 million deal. Mets fan can expect him to receive a considerable pay raise over a long-term deal. Spotrac currently calculates his market value at a $27.8 million-dollar annual salary.

It has also been reported that Cleveland offered their star a contract worth over $200 million before the two parties split. Lindor declined to sign.

The Market

The most recent shortstop mega-deal was given to San Diego All-Star Manny Machado before the 2019 season. The deal was for 10-years and $300 million. It was also given during Machado’s age 28 season.

Lindor, currently 27 years old, will likely seek a larger contract.

The Final Contract Offer

The Padres’ agreement with Machado is a good template for the Mets to follow. It appears to be a virtual certainty that New York will need to offer a 10-year contract. It has also speculated that the monetary value will like fall in the range of $320-$360 million.

There has been speculation that the fringes of the deal could fall anywhere between $290 and $390 million depending on how long Lindor is willing to extend the negotiations.

Considering the fact that Lindor has reportedly expressed a lack of desire to play for either New York franchise, it seems imperative for the Mets to make a strong offer at the beginning of negotiations.

Cohen and company should begin talks by extending a 10-year, $320 million offer. Hopefully, Lindor will accept this mutually beneficial offer quickly. However, should New York need to, they can conceivably go higher to convince the star to call Flushing home for the next decade.

The notion of a $390 contract over 10 years seems quite steep. But hopefully, the side can reach an agreement before that number is reached.

The Likelihood of a Deal

There is one final aspect to consider: What is the likelihood that a deal is ultimately reached? It seems clear that New York would not have pulled the trigger on this trade if they did not intend to over a mega-deal.

A deal feels even more imminent considering the presence of Cohen. It would be shocking for the wealthy and aggressive owner to talk about winning all offseason, complete a blockbuster, and then allow his star to walk just one year later.

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There is always a chance that Lindor forces the issue with demands of $400 million+. However, if both sides act sensibly, there is every reason to expect that a deal in the 10-year, $320 million range can be reached.

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