Shortstop Francisco Lindor is the Mets’ highest-paid player in franchise history. He’s in the midst of a 10-year, $341 million deal. But has he been worth the money so far?
For some people, it doesn’t matter what Lindor does during the life of his contract — it’ll never be enough to justify the price. But if we use fWAR and advanced metrics, he’s actually outperformed his yearly salary since the start of his Mets tenure.
And yes, that includes his “bad” 2021 performance. Someone pointed this out on Reddit, so I wanted to bring it to light here, as well. Mostly because a player’s value to the team is more than just what their batting average is and how many home runs they’ve hit.
FanGraphs has a “Dollars” metric that calculates how valuable a player’s performance has been during a particular year. The equation is typically around $8 million per 1.0 fWAR generated. With that in mind, below is Lindor’s yearly fWAR, his payroll salary, and how much his performance has been worth since joining the Mets:
- 2021: $22.3 million salary, 4.2 fWAR, $33.6 million value
- 2022: $34.1 million salary, 6.6 fWAR, $52.7 million value
- 2023: $34.1 million salary, 6.0 fWAR, $47.9 million value
Obviously, value will eventually go down as we get to the backend of Lindor’s contract. But he’ll be entering his age-30 campaign in 2024, so New York should still get a few years of overperformance from its shortstop.
The hope with any long-term deal — especially one that’s 10 years in length — is that the player overperforms on the front end to make up for a likely downturn in production toward the end.
Even in just three seasons, Lindor has made his mark within franchise history at shortstop. He owns the two best seasons in fWAR, RBI, and home runs, both of which occurred in 2022 and 2023. He also became the fourth Mets player to secure a 30-30 campaign this past year.
In addition to his actual production, he’s a dependable leader. Lindor has suited up for 446 out of a possible 486 games since 2021. He’s only missed three games since the start of 2022. Oh, and he’s always willing to hold himself accountable to the media.
Lindor has been worth every penny of his contract so far, and then some. It will be even better if the Mets can add a World Series title during this time. But I doubt there’s anyone in the organization who would say he hasn’t been worth the money.