The biggest of the offseason, inking Francisco Lindor to a long-term deal should be the Mets’ top priority
The Mets trading for Francisco Lindor feels eerily similar to the Los Angeles Dodgers trading for Mookie Betts last winter. That trade resulted in Betts signing a 12-year, $365M deal before ever sniffing free agency and the Mets would be wise to do the same.
While the Mets didn’t give up a whole lot in talent, it still saw them ship their two talented shortstops to Cleveland, leaving no one to fill shortstop in 2022 given that top prospect Ronny Mauricio is still some time away from the Majors. This indicates that the Mets like their chances at signing Lindor for the long haul, otherwise a trade for him seems unwise if only for one year. Alderson’s remarks indicated a calculated risk from the front office, given that nothing is ever guaranteed. That being said, an extension for Lindor makes sense.
Barring any other long-term extensions, next offseason will produce a plethora of free agent talent at the shortstop position. As it stands now, Javier Baez, Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, Corey Seager, and Lindor are all set to be available for teams to sign. That will give teams lots of options, but will also result in competing prices. Lindor wants to get paid and signing an extension with the Mets this year will prevent him from having to compete against other shortstops who are certain to drive his price down.
Even if Lindor were to test free agency, he’d be the best shortstop out of the group listed above, which is why the Mets should be willing to pay top dollar for a player of his caliber who is in the prime of their career. There have been whispers of what it might take to extend the perennial All-Star, a deal that is north of $300M. If a 10-year/$320-330M deal is what’s necessary to ensure Lindor doesn’t hit free agency, the Mets should absolutely pay Lindor that much money and put a stamp on a trade that could prove to be franchise-altering.