Everybody’s favorite New York Mets reporter Andy Martino responded to the Fernando Tatis Jr. suspension not with an easy joke about Robinson Cano joining the San Diego Padres earlier this year but a string of tweets that only seemed to get worse as they went on.
Let’s examine what he had to say:
Mets reporter Andy Martino seems to think Francisco Lindor is overpaid by $200 million
The first tweet is actually not so bad. In fact, it’s insanely reasonable. Lindor got $341 million from the Mets. Tatis Jr. got $340. It’s such an easy way to look at things that if he stopped himself there this might not have developed into what Mets fans were talking about all day on Saturday.
The second chapter is when things take a nosedive. The assumption that Lindor would have received $200 million less is absurd. Maybe the Mets did overpay him. But by more than double what he is earning this soon after? Get out of here!
The added “not a knock on Lindor’s play” feels like Martino already anticipated the hatred the tweet would get. After all, he's receiving MVP chants at Citi Field right now.
Finally, we get a comparison to Javier Baez. The problem with this comparison is that Martino seems to only be taking into account how they did in what would have been their final seasons before free agency. Lindor would have hit the open market last winter after a disappointing campaign. Baez, meanwhile, had a strong finish with the Mets after a rough beginning with the Chicago Cubs.
It’s the body of work that matters more. Baez is more well-known as a free swinger. To see him struggle this year with the Detroit Tigers isn’t much of a surprise. Maybe he does figure things out. Maybe he doesn’t.
As many Mets fans have pointed out, a comparison to Corey Seager is needed. He earned himself a 10-year contract worth $325 million this past offseason. The market for shortstops may have felt “set” by Tatis Jr. but it’s hardly the only one to compare it to.
Carlos Correa, for instance, signed a shorter deal for three seasons with the Minnesota Twins. There’s an opt out after year one and two. There’s a good shot he ends up with more than Lindor this offseason or at least something within the same range yet far more than what Baez got.
With their AAV’s ranking in MLB right now beside their name, Correa (7), Lindor (10), and Seager (11) were all either meant to be or were actually free agents last winter. The price of signing a star free agent shortstop isn’t what Baez got from the Tigers.
Martino isn’t so off-base with the link between Lindor and Tatis Jr. But to think the Mets spent an entire team’s salary more on him includes a little too much hyperbole even for those of us who have a crisis when the ice cream flavor we bought isn't as good as it looked on the packaging.