So, Mets Massively Overpaid for Francisco Lindor

It took a year, but we now know the Mets massively overpaid for Francisco Lindor. And you can thank baseball maverick Sandy Alderson for once again misreading a market.

To recap, this offseason was billed as the winter of the shortstop or some such nonsense, because so many shortstops were reaching free agency. The Mets jumped the gun by a year, trading for Lindor and giving him $341 million spread out over 10 long years. Well, the Mets should have waited.

Over the weekend, the Red Sox signed Trevor Story for six years, $140 million, and the Twins shocked everyone by nabbing Carlos Correa on a three-year, $105 million contract (opt-outs likely make this a one-year deal). Before the lockout, old friend Javier Baez got $140 million for six years from the Tigers, and the Rangers signed two guys — Marcus Semien for five years at $110 million and Corey Seager for a Lindor-approaching 10 years, $325 million.

Any way you slice it, the Mets committed a lot more money to a player who is probably just as good, and arguably worse based on his 2021 performance, than these other shortstops who hit the market. Of course, no one blames Lindor for taking the money. No, this is all on Alderson. He should have know what the market would be for these guys and acted accordingly. Instead, he bet Steve Cohen’s farm on Lindor. Granted, that farm is very well stocked, but still, even Cohen does not have an unlimited budget. And that’s money that could have been better spent.

When it was announced Cohen would be hiring Alderson if the other owners approved his purchase, I wrote, “Steve Cohen’s first decision as potential Mets owner is terrible!” And today, more evidence that I was right.

5 thoughts on “So, Mets Massively Overpaid for Francisco Lindor

  • March 20, 2022 at 10:34 pm

    Perfectly said. I have been saying this since the deal was announced. It was a massive overpay with very little upside and much bigger downside. Everyone knew there would be a glut of talented star short stops hitting the market this offseason. There was simply no reason to overpay other than to make a statement. Making a statement is not how you build a winning club. Too many people think short term and just want the shiny thing in front of them. This deal is likely going to look worse every year.

  • March 20, 2022 at 11:03 pm

    I’d have to agree. The market had more inventory than buyers and it fell. On the other hand the term, 10 years (which you can also argue is too long) is long enough to make the AAV of last 3 or 4 years less outrageous. By the time we get to 2027-8, salaries and payrolls will have inflated so his contact will actually become less burdensome based on its % of total payroll. Assuming, of course, he’s playing well 6 years from now, which is no sure thing. Either way it’s an overpay and a risky deal for the Mets.

  • March 21, 2022 at 6:41 am

    It was very clear that the Mets overpaid for Lindor from the start. First of all they were pretty stacked at shortstop with 2 MLB ready players and their best prospect there already and they were very thin elsewhere. They could have signed Realmuto and kept Rosario/Gimenez/Mauricio for SS and gotten Nolan Arenado for what they paid for Lindor. Second, that was BEFORE Lindor hit .231 and pulled the “thumbs up” BS last season. He was a negative both on the field and in the dugout. Jeff McNeil clearly has been negatively affected by his presence and I don’t see these guys playing well together in the future. Then of course the massive overpay while you block your best prospect and seriously reduce Mauricio and McNeil’s trade values both because everyone else knows you have to dump them. Just an awful commitment to a player that was NOT a top 10 player, but got a top 3 salary. A player already showing some evidence of declining and who has never proven that he can play in NY. I gotta stop here before I tear up. Sniff.

  • March 21, 2022 at 10:30 am

    There is no such thing as overpaying.

    If they hadn’t agreed with Lindor, he’d be gone by now. No GM can see the future. Sandy didn’t have any idea that people would be getting less a year later.

    Lindor was not going to come down last year. His value at the time of the negotiation was high. Possibly they could have gotten a shortstop for less this year, but who can be sure?

    So the best move is to come to an agreement — even if it’s more than what it might be in a the future — instead of hoping that you can bring back a player who goes into free agency angry that the team lowballed him.

    Hindsight is 20-20. You can’t judge a contract by what happened to others a year later, because you don’t know that when you’re negotiating.

  • March 21, 2022 at 11:33 am

    RealityChuck this has nothing to do with hindsight….this was a bad move for a multitude of reasons from the very start.

    “No GM can see the future” of course not…except the future of having like 6 premier SS on the market at the same time was pretty clear. You can’t predict every outcome so you make your decisions to stack the odds in your favor. Over time you will be a winner. Taking risky gambles with little upside on a regular basis is how you fail long term.

    Lets analyze this…the only way Lindor realistically makes more money on the open market is if he wins MVP…say this had happened…is there really someone out there gonna pay more than 341m even if he had? The downside is already clear as it played out in front of our eyes. If Lindor had moved on he would have had a qualifying offer attached and we would have had 5 other very good short stops to choose from.

    Committing 11 years to a player pretty much never works out well. You are paying for the first few years of performance and then dealing with an aging and non-productive player in the back half. We paid a maybe a top 20 player a top 3 salary and now chances are this is going to look worse every year. Certainly I hope Lindor plays well over the rest of the contract but outside of putting up hall of fame numbers for most of the remaining 10 years there was no real scenario where this was a good contract and it didnt require hindsight to figure that out. So far we given up 3 prospects, a ML short stop, and $365m and 11 years in commitment to a player who has both stunk in year 1 and booed his own team.

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