The Mets and Francisco Lindor did the right thing in agreeing to a 10-year $341 million deal. Mets fans, you have your next David Wright.
The Mets and Francisco Lindor kept us guessing until the final hours, but make no mistake; it was well worth the wait.
Francisco Lindor will wear the Mets blue and orange, and occasionally black we hear, for the next ten years. He will be paid handsomely for his services with an average yearly salary of $34 million, but no one is complaining.
That’s because the Mets have engaged themselves in a marriage with Lindor, a consummate professional ballplayer, and more significantly a polished and genuinely positive person.
Francisco Lindor: More Than An All-Star Shortstop
Since David Wright‘s departure, the Mets have been looking in all the right places for a player to fill the void left by Wright as the face of the team.
The player that someone in Ames, Iowa or Erie, Pennsylvania immediately thinks of when the Mets come up in conversation.
The man who plays the game with effervescent youth, unending optimism, and who glows with the privilege to play the game he loves.
Pete Alonso has come close, and if not for the arrival of Lindor, might have one day filled the void. Jacob deGrom, another player’s player, is too cerebral and wrapped up in his craft (a compliment) to be comfortable on a raised stage – especially in New York City.
In fact, it was Pete Alonso who spoke out a few days ago, encouraging the Mets and Steve Cohen to “pay him the $400 million” because he’s valued that much in the clubhouse.
The Mets Get The Full Monte
Notice that we haven’t even broached the subject of Lindor’s “numbers,” the most common denominator that registers greatness in baseball.
The numbers are here if you wish to see them, courtesy of Baseball-Reference, but there’s no need to go there because whether you see a photo of Francisco Lindor or in person, you just sense this is a player cut above the rest you see on the field that day.
To illustrate, there was a time when I attended a Single-A game in Wappingers Falls, New York, where an affiliate of the (then) Tampa Bay Devil Rays played.
Playing in the first of many chances to rebound from drug abuse that day was Josh Hamilton. Still relatively unknown compared to the public persona he would reach, I felt in my bones – this guy is a star in the making – the next Mickey Mantle.
Alas, history followed to tell a different story, but Francisco Lindor emits that kind of vibe. You just “know”.
For The Mets, The Work Has Just Begun
Next up for the Mets is Michael Conforto, another important piece of the puzzle Sandy Alderson is stitching together.
With Scott Boras in the picture as Conforto’s agent, expect a rocky road once this year’s World Series concludes and the free-agent sweepstakes begin.
Noah Syndergaard, when he returns, and Marcus Stroman are both playing in their walk years as well, so if the Mets are serious about keeping their core together, there’s more work and more money to be spent by Steve Cohen.
But with regards to Lindor, this was something the Mets had to do.
Seen as a way to re-legitimatize the Mets franchise following several false starts and dysfunction during the regime of the Wilpons, the Mets knew that you don’t just date a player of Lindor’s caliber; you marry him.
Kudos to the Mets for doing so.
This Just In
The game between the Mets and Washington Nationals scheduled for tonight has been postponed due to COVID-related issues concerning several National players.
The next game scheduled between the two teams is Saturday at 4:05 p.m. ET.