Francisco Lindor didn’t even hesitate when asked what kind of player he’ll be at the age of 38, when his newly signed 10-year contract extension with the New York Mets runs out.
“I’ll be a bad mother f—er,” he said with a grin.
It was just hours after the 27-year-old superstar shortstop signed a 10-year, $341 million extension with the Mets late Wednesday night, securing him in Queens for the next 11 years and ensuring that his self-imposed Opening-Day deadline was met. Lindor continuously made it known that he would not negotiate an extension during the regular season.
“It’s a dream come true. A humbling experience,” Lindor said. “I wanted to yell and scream as loud as I can but I was in a hotel room so I couldn’t.”
He and the Mets left it late as the agreement was struck less than 24 hours from the originally-scheduled season opener in the nation’s capital against the Washington Nationals. But as it turns out, the Mets had more time to get it done after their entire opening series was postponed due to COVID concerns generated by multiple positive cases from the Nationals.
“My camp, we keep things very tight but I was very optimistic that we were going to get a deal done,” Lindor said, who said he was “bummed” that he couldn’t make his Mets debut this weekend. “I knew [Mets owner Steve Cohen] wanted it, I knew [team president Sandy Alderson] wanted it, I wanted it… I knew something was going to happen. It was just a matter of getting to the sweet spot.”
The Mets originally offered a 10-year deal worth $325 million before Lindor’s camp reportedly countered with 12 years at $385 million.
“There were numbers thrown out there, there were years thrown out there, but from my part, you won’t hear every detail of the negotiation,” he said. “That’s now how I do things.”
It wasn’t that hard of a decision, though, to commit his long-term future to the Mets.
“The group of guys and girls we have in the clubhouse on a daily basis. They’re committed to winning, they want to improve, they want to get better every day. That says a lot,” Lindor said. “That’s what I look for in a franchise. One that wants to win, one that wants to get better, that has guys and girls who are class acts.
“That starts at the top. I was happy, I felt comfortable. I know I haven’t been to New York, but the guys made me feel comfortable and a part of what they have in the clubhouse. I love that. I love the opportunity to bring a championship to the city, to Queens.”
With a lucrative deal in hand, now comes the hard part: Living up to the richest contract awarded to a shortstop in MLB history and the third-richest contract ever behind only Mike Trout and Mookie Betts.
Not only does that include production individually, but helping the Mets break their now 35-year World Series drought.
“Why not the Mets?,” he asked rhetorically. “That’s the question. I’m excited to be a New York Met. It’s going to be a special run.
“My goal is that we make this the greatest organization and everyone wants to come play for the New York Mets.”