I say “quite possibly” because Lindor was in the final year of his contract at the time of the trade and was set to be a free agent following the season. I believe the Mets were confident enough making this trade knowing that they would be able to sign him to a deal.
With a deadline set from the pending free agent to be, a deal was made for him to stay in New York for the next 10 years. We all breathed a sigh of relief knowing that Lindor would be manning shortstop for a decade to come. However, there was one looming question.
Would the Mets quickly regret the contract as other free agent shortstops signed this winter?
This was a question that crossed my mind a lot and that was even before ‘Mr. Smile’ set foot on the field.
You see, I was not in favor of giving Lindor a mega-deal right away. Yes, I know the optics might have looked bad because he would have come off as a rental player, but the Mets were still in prime position to get a great shortstop.
Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Javy Báez, & even Marcus Semien were all set to be available and I thought it would be unwise to give a contract to a player that hasn’t even stepped foot in Citi Field. We didn’t even know if he could handle New York!
Who knew how important that would be as Lindor struggled out the gate. For the first two months, his batting average was below the Mendoza line at .194 and when you struggle as much as he did the boo birds were coming and they came in full force.
It seemed like Lindor was struggling with how he was being treated by the fanbase and then you started to get a glimmer of what we knew he could be and what he showed in Cleveland. His defense and leadership were always there, but now he started to hit.
Even though he missed some time due to a strained right oblique, he finished the season strong and was second on the team in home runs (20) and runs batted in (63). He even had a ‘signature’ game when he single-handedly beat the Yankees with 3 homers to clinch a Subway Series victory.
I do feel better about Lindor moving forward and fully expect a bounce-back year from him in 2022.
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At the end of the day, I think the Mets will not regret giving him a huge contract, and let’s not forget, Steve Cohen is our owner and if he wants one of the other free agent shortstops then he can get them and have them play 2nd or 3rd base.