The Mets are seemingly running out of time to extend their prized offseason acquisition, shortstop Francisco Lindor. The 27-year-old, who earned four All-Star nods with the Indians before joining the Mets in a blockbuster winter trade, has made it clear he will not negotiate a new contract when the regular season begins Thursday. That means he could become the leading free agent on the board next offseason.
Although the Mets and Lindor are closing in on his self-imposed deadline, they’re not yet moving toward an agreement, per Andy Martino of SNY.tv. The Mets have made Lindor a franchise-record offer worth around $325MM over 10 years, Martino writes, and Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets it’s “believed” the club will not make him another proposal before his deadline. Expectations across the industry are that the two sides will hammer out an agreement, Martino relays, though Lindor is looking for a deal in the 12-year, $400MM range, according to Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News. Indeed, Lindor’s camp has made the Mets a 12-year, $385MM counteroffer, Tim Healey of Newsday reports.
It appears there is a wide gap to close, but it should help the Mets’ chances that they have baseball’s richest owner, Steve Cohen, who had dinner with Lindor on Saturday. Cohen addressed the Lindor situation in a pre-recorded online Q&A with Mets announcer Wayne Randazzo and fans (via Ken Davidoff the New York Post), saying, “It takes two people to sign a contract, not one.” He added: “Well, we have a deadline [March] 31, today is the 29th. It either will or won’t in the next two days.”
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