Mets owner Steve Cohen has delivered on his vow to be a big spender after purchasing the team from the Wilpon family in December, signing recently acquired shortstop Francisco Lindor to a 10-year, $342 million contract extension Wednesday night.
The deal — which followed an intriguing negotiating process and is the largest outlay in franchise history –was finalized xxx days ahead of the four-time All-Star’s imposed negotiation deadline of Opening Day on Thursday in Washington.
The Mets initially offered Lindor a 10-year contract worth $325 million, while Lindor sought $385 million over 12 years, The Post reported Monday — two days after Cohen and Lindor had dinner in Florida. On Tuesday, Mets star Pete Alonso said the Mets should give his new teammate $400 million.
The 27-year-old Lindor could have become a free agent after this season after having been obtained from Cleveland in a January blockbuster trade. He will receive an average annual salary of $34.1 million, topping the $27.5 million AAV of the five-year, $137.5 million extension teammate Jacob deGrom signed in 2019. The two-time Cy Young Award winner is slated to earn $33.5 million this season.
Lindor’s total outlay also more than doubles the franchise record $138 million total commitment the Mets made to since-retired David Wright in 2012.
The two-time Gold Glove winner averaged 34 home runs, 85 RBI, 110 runs scored and 21 stolen bases with an .856 OPS for Cleveland from 2017-19. He was acquired with pitcher Carlos Carrasco in a trade that shipped Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Isaiah Green and Josh Wolf to the Indians.
The 64-year-old Cohen, the billionaire hedge-fund tycoon originally from Long Island, purchased the Mets for $2.4 billion in October from the Wilpon family.
The Mets also are seeking to extend the contract of homegrown outfielder Michael Conforto, who is eligible to become a free agent after the 2021 season. They also will have to make contract decisions soon on pitchers Marcus Stroman (also a pending free agent) and Noah Syndergaard, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
Lindor becomes the eighth player in baseball with a contract of $300 million or more, joining Mike Trout ($426.5 million), Mookie Betts ($365m), Fernando Tatis ($340m), Bryce Harper ($330m), Giancarlo Stanton, ($325m), Gerrit Cole ($324m) and Manny Machado ($300m).