The New York Mets finally got it done. They got their guy locked in just hours before Opening Day. The Mets and Francisco Lindor agreed to a 10-year extension that will pay him $341 Million. He will be a Met until he is 37-years-old and will be getting paid by them until 2041. You read that right! Steve Cohen, the richest owner in baseball, handed out a large deferral and that’s hardly shocking. Contrary to the popular belief, the concept of deferred payments is not a negotiating tool reserved strictly for the Lerner Family and the Washington Nationals.
This deal has almost universally been viewed as an overpay and while that may be true, the Mets got it done and now have their face of the franchise for the next 10 seasons.
This deal obviously could impact the Nationals on the field, but it also impacts the potential contract extension for Trea Turner. Turner is just about 5 months older than Lindor and, from afar, they have been pretty comparable players over the last two years. Lindor has a 6.3 fWAR, while Turner has posted a 6.2 fWAR.
While their fWARs are very close, their offensive productions really aren’t. Over the last two seasons, Turner has posted a Fangraphs offensive rating of 41.1 and Lindor has only posted a 9.1. Turner also has a much better wRC+, OPS and wOBA.There really is no debate on the offensive side of things, Turner has been better since 2018. Defensively things look a little different. It is very clear that Lindor is the better defender, which explains why he posts a fWAR slightly higher.
When comparing the players, one could say that Turner might deserve similar money and that idea would deal a huge blow to Washington’s hopes of extending him. While Lindor certainly has set the shortstop market on fire, I personally believe this may be a little bit of an outlier.
I have a very hard time believing Lindor would have done much better next offseason as a free agent in the open market and it feels like Cohen was bidding himself up simply because he could. Next year’s free-agent market is expected to be stacked with all-star shortstops like Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Javier Baez and Carlos Correa. They are all going to get paid, but those four might actually help bring Turner’s market back down.
We’ve reached Opening Day, which is traditionally the “unofficial” deadline in baseball for negotiating contract extensions, and it does not look like we are going to get a Turner announcement just yet. Maybe both sides will wait to see what those four get before hammering out a deal.
I have long said the team should get out in front of a Lindor deal and this is exactly why. Now, Nationals fans have to hope that the free-agency craze that will happen next year helps settle this market a little bit.
In my opinion, Turner still has the best chance of any National to receive a contract extension, but this deal adds another hurdle to those negotiations.