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Francisco Lindor Rumors: Mets SS Seeks 12-Year, $385M Contract; Deal 'Not Close'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2021

New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor runs to the dugout during a spring training baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Wednesday, March 17, 2021, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Francisco Lindor and the New York Mets reportedly face a sizable gap in contract negotiations as the 2021 MLB season nears.

Tim Healey of Newsday reported Lindor is seeking a 12-year, $385 million deal. According to SNY's Andy Martino, the Mets have offered a massive extension of "approximately" 10 years and $325 million, 

Martino cautioned the respective sides haven't yet struck an agreement.

"Lindor has not accepted the offer," he wrote. "He is working under a self-imposed Opening Day deadline to reach a deal. As of Monday night, the sides were not close to an agreement and did not feel a sense of momentum towards one."

Martino noted the contract would far surpass the biggest one ever handed out by the franchise (eight years and $138 million for David Wright).

Lindor, whom the Mets acquired from Cleveland this offseason, is due to become a free agent after the 2021 MLB season.

Getting the four-time All-Star and Carlos Carrasco was a strong sign of intent from new owner Steven Cohen as he approaches his first full season in charge. The real test, however, is whether New York can retain Lindor beyond this year.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Sunday that Cohen and Lindor met for dinner the night before and that "there remains hope something will get done before the Opening Day deadline Lindor set."

It's difficult to envision Lindor matching or surpassing Mike Trout's 12-year, $426.5 million extension from the Los Angeles Angels.

At $325 million, the total value would still fall behind Trout, Mookie Betts ($365 million), Fernando Tatis Jr. ($340 million) and Bryce Harper ($330 million). A $32.5 million average salary would also trail seven players, with Gerrit Cole ($36 million) leading the way.

That Martino would report Lindor and the Mets "were not close to an agreement" would seemingly indicate the star shortstop is looking for a little more money.

Both Betts' and Tatis' extensions came after the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across baseball became apparent. Teams are still willing to spend big for top-end talent, so Lindor would presumably have a strong market were he to hit free agency at 28 years old.

If the Mets are at least willing to put $325 million on the table, then you wouldn't think they'd draw a line in the sand and decline to sweeten the offer in order to keep Lindor around.

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