Francisco Lindor
Courtesy IG: @lindor12bc

Francisco Lindor has set a deadline for a new deal of Opening Day. Will the Mets get it done?

When the New York Mets acquired superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor this winter, they knew they were getting one of the best overall players in the game. The Mets also knew Lindor has one year left on his current contract, and is going to (rightfully) ask for a king’s ransom on his next deal.

Lindor has openly put a deadline of Opening Day on any discussions with the Mets on a long-term extension. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported this weekend that Mets owner Steve Cohen had dinner with Lindor, perhaps an indication that the two parties are closing on a blockbuster deal.

Cohen himself has even tweeted about signing Lindor. Was he legitimately crowdsourcing contract figures, or maybe trolling Trevor Bauer?

Either way, the news that Cohen and Lindor broke bread this weekend is encouraging. The Mets haven’t acquired a face-of-the-franchise level player like Lindor since the deal with Miami to bring in Mike Piazza 23 years ago.

How much?

The elephant in the room is the size and shape of the contract. We are on the cusp or arguably the greatest positional free agent class in the history of Major League Baseball. Lindor headlines a group of shortstops headed to free agency that includes Trevor Story, Javier Báez, Corey Seager, Carlos Correa and Marcus Semien.

The market for these superstars shifted in the wake of Fernando Tatís, Jr., signing his enormous 14-year, $340 million contract with the San Diego Padres. Tatís is entering his age-23 season; Lindor will turn 28 in November.

One huge difference now that Cohen owns the team: we don’t have to ask if the Mets can afford a huge deal.

Passan’s tweet indicates at least Lindor’s camp is looking for north of $300 million. Whether or not the Mets are willing to go that big is the question, and how many years it would take to get there.

Opening Day is Thursday, April 1. Can the Mets get something done to keep Mr. Smile in their uniform for the rest of his career before then?

Tab has written about MLB, the NHL and the NFL for more than a decade for publications including The Fourth Period, Bleacher Report and La Vida Baseball. He is the author of two books about the Chicago Blackhawks and has been credentialed for the MLB All-Star Game and postseason and multiple Stanley Cup Finals. He is the co-host of the Line Drive Radio podcast.