Earlier in the year, in the offseason prior to the 2021 campaign, the New York Mets traded two young shortstops (Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez) plus two prospects to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for multiple-time All-Star Francisco Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco.
Lindor, who was scheduled to be a free agent after the 2021 campaign, said he would only negotiate a long-term deal during the offseason, and wouldn’t listen to offers after the regular season started.
After weeks of negotiations, the Mets and Lindor agreed to sign a mammoth extension the day before the start of the season.
It was a 10-year, $341 million pact that would kick in starting in 2022, until 2031.
It will pay him $34.1 million per year until he is 38 years old.
Top Shortstops Populate The Free Agent Market
Now that another offseason has started, five top shortstops are entering the market, free to sign with the club of their liking.
Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Marcus Semien, and Javier Baez are all set to earn huge paydays because they have all had brilliant careers and still have some excellent years in front of them, at least in theory.
Seager is a fantastic offensive player with the potential of hitting .310 and belting 30 homers in a healthy season.
Semien leads MLB in Wins Above Replacement over the last three seasons, can play second base and shortstop with ease, and has 40-homer power with some speed.
Baez offers an enticing power-speed combo and made some huge strides with his lousy plate discipline during his time with the Mets this year.
Story is a solid all-around player with All-Star berths, stolen base crowns, and lots of home runs on his resume.
However, if there is a player with the potential of scoring a $300 million deal this offseason, it’s Correa.
Lindor is perhaps the best defender of the two, evidenced by his two career Gold Gloves and one Platinum Glove.
However, Correa is in the same league defensively, and has proven to be a superior hitter than Lindor.
Judging by weighted Runs Created Plus, or wRC+, we see that Correa’s 128 is better than Lindor’s 117.
The wRC+ stat allows us to compare players’ offensive contributions on a scale in which 100 is average, and anything higher is above-average.
Correa Could Out-Earn Lindor, But It’s Not Likely
In this case, we can conclude that Correa has been 28 percent better than his peers over his career, better than Lindor, who has been 17 percent better than the average.
It’s a sizable difference, one that could help Correa land a huge deal.
He isn’t but lindor got that and more and correa is better https://t.co/ROCR7JSpnl
— Peter (@ponypete4) November 11, 2021
In the end, it will all depend on whether the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees will enter a bidding war, and so far, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
The #Yankees have shown no desire to spend a record breaking amount for one of the elite shortstops on the market like Carlos Correa or Corey Seager, who are aiming for that type of contract, per @Joelsherman1 pic.twitter.com/SLQA4RgyMK
— YankeesCenter Podcast (@Yankees_Center) November 21, 2021
Both teams have stated they are looking at all the shortstops and prefer not to spend $300 million on one of them.
If the Philadelphia Phillies, or the Seattle Mariners, enter the bidding, Correa’s chances of surpassing Lindor’s average annual value could increase.
However, while Correa certainly could earn more than Lindor, he probably won’t.
But there is a concrete chance, and once the new CBA is finalized, we will see how much Correa ends up making with his new team.