The New York Mets are currently in contract negotiations with All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor, as both parties are interested in committing to each other for the long-term.
The Mets surrendered shortstops Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario, plus two prospects, to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco.
The trade was viewed as a huge success for New York, mainly because they acquired an impact player who could be the face of the franchise provided he signed an extension.
So far, the Mets and Lindor haven’t been able to reach an agreement, as the shortstop is looking for a $300 million payday.
For reference, it has been reported that Francisco Lindor's extension will be around $300 million https://t.co/Yps8VHWKzE
— Michael Schwab (@michaelschwab13) March 24, 2021
To make matters more complicated, Lindor’s camp said they wouldn’t negotiate once the regular season begins on April 1, as he doesn’t want the saga to be a distraction for him or the team.
One other highlight from this afternoon's Mets game: Francisco Lindor, who went 3-for-3 with 3 RBI and a stolen base.
Lindor is batting .388 this spring. The Mets have four days left to sign him to an extension.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) March 27, 2021
That leaves just a handful of days for the two sides to find common ground, but they could also potentially agree to a blockbuster deal after the season.
The problem would be that right now, the Mets can negotiate with Lindor exclusively, whereas if they wait after the World Series, other teams may enter the bidding.
Given the hefty sum that Lindor is rumored to require, it’s fair to wonder if he is worth that kind of money.
Lindor By The Numbers
During his six-year major league tenure, the outgoing infielder has hit .285/.346/.488 with a 118 wRC+ (meaning that he has produced 18% more offensively than his peers) 138 home runs, 508 runs scored, 411 RBI (runs batted in) and 99 stolen bases.
He is just 27 years old, so he is just entering the prime of his playing career, at least theoretically.
His contributions go well beyond the batter’s box, as he is an elite fielder in a premium position, and a respected leader who constantly picks up his teammates.
In his short time with the Mets, some of the team’s stars have praised his leadership skills and contagious playing style.
And if you are asking yourself whether that package is worth something in the neighborhood of $300 million dollars, the answer is yes.
Even though Lindor’s performance last year wasn’t stellar (.258/.335/.415 with eight homers, six stolen bases and a 102 wRC+), it was a short season and a small sample compared with his career output.
Additionally, his excellent defense and baserunning helped him accumulate 1.8 Wins Above Replacement, or WAR.
For reference, Fernando Tatis recently signed a 14-year, $340 million extension.
It’s probable that Tatis is better than Lindor, but the former had less leverage, as he had four team control years remaining.
Since he is about to hit the open market, Lindor could make more than Tatis on a per-year basis.
WAR And Cost Per Win Say Lindor Is Worth A Huge Salary
Specialized site Fangraphs values each WAR (or each “win” a player is worth according to his performance) at $8 million in the open market.
That doesn’t mean that is the going rate for each free agent, but it’s a reference number.
Lindor, so far, averaged 5.48 WAR in his first five season (we will exclude 2020 since it was a short campaign.)
Those 5.48 WAR equals to something around $43.8 million per season, if he were to enter the open market.
A five-win season is superstar level, and even if Lindor signs a 10-year, $300 million deal, he should be able to live up to his contract.
He would have to average 3.75 WAR per year to justify a $30 million per year salary, and if he keeps himself in shape, his defensive excellence and offensive power should allow him to do just that.
Even with last season’s subpar offensive numbers, Lindor was worth 4.86 WAR per 162 games, more than enough to justify a hypothetical salary of more than $30 million.
And, it’ pretty clear that Lindor won’t sign a five or six-year deal, as he has the track record, current skill level, and intangibles to ask for at least eight.
To sum up, Francisco Lindor is a superstar, and not only will get $300 million, but also, he deserves them.NEXT: Should The NY Mets Trade For Kris Bryant?