Many longtime Mets fans I know are still not happy with the head-scratching 10-year $341 million Lindor got in 2021 which he practically demanded prior to the start of the last season.
The Mets caved into Lindor's and his agent's demand that he be signed prior to the start of the 2021 season and they foolishly gave him all that money for so long. He insisted on making more than Fernando Tatis Jr. who the Padres gave $340 million over 14 years. However, Tatis is just 23 and can play shortstop and the outfield. In 2021 he put up huge numbers; 42 HRs 97 RBIs, and batted .282.
The Mets and Lindor's 2021 season was disappointing. Mets finished with a 77-85 record and he batted just .230. That's now history and Lindor's big contract kicked in this season. The Mets this year are in 1st place in the NL East (46-26) with a 4.5-game lead on the Braves who recently had a 14-game winning streak.
On Friday night in Miami, Lindor he was the hitting hero driving in 4 runs one run via solo HR, his 12th.
However, this season, Lindor is off to a much better start with 12 HRs, 56 RBIs, and is batting .246 which is decent but not exactly what you would expect from a player you gave a $341 million contract to. To date, if you combine his 1.5 seasons with the Mets he's batting just .239.
What will fellow New Yorker Aaron Judge be worth at the season's end when he becomes a free agent? The Yankee slugger who is 30, leads MLB with 27 HRs, has 53 RBIs, and is batting .299.
Let's compare Lindor this season to those privileged to get a $300 million or more contract.
Mike Trout, $426.5 million for 12 years.
22 HRs 45 RBIs .285
Manny Machado, $300 million for 10 years
12 HRS 46 RBIs .328
Bryce Harper, $330 million for 13 years
15 HRs 48 RBIs .320
Fernando Tatis, Jr. $340 million for 12 years.
He's on the 60-day IL and is yet to play this season. 2021 42 HRs 97 RBIs
Lindor who came over from Cleveland in a trade with the Mets along with Carlos Carrasco didn't live up to expectations in 2021. He batted just .230 and had 20 HRs and 63 RBIs which is pretty good for a player that missed 5 weeks with an oblique strain, but it was the .230 average that was the eyesore. One of the players he was traded for Andres Gimenez, this season is batting .314 with 8 HRs and 34 RBIs for Cleveland.
Lindor is a talented player, but not elite, and playing in New York is another challenge. You have to be resilient, and thick-skinned which he's not. I simply wanted the Mets to wait to at least the All-Star break or season's end to sign him. Since he was already signed for $22.3 million last season and you had other SS coming available such as Trevor Story, 29 who had a better year (24 HRs 75 RBIs .251). Even former Mets SS, Amed Rosario who was included in the Lindor trade, nearly had a better season (11 HRs 57 RBIs .282).
Lindor's high point in 2021 was hitting 3 HRs vs. the Yankees on a Sunday night on a nationally televised ESPN game. His low point was the thumbs-down foolishness to the fans that he and his good friend Javier Baez participated in and later apologized for.
Yes, the new Mets owner Steve Cohen has plenty of money, but why didn't he wait to sign him long-term at the season's end? Maybe Lindor will get acclimated to playing in New York and produce, which means more than improving his stats. I mean helping the Mets win a World Series or two which they haven't since 1986.
As a Mets fan of 50+ years, I want to be wrong. Many of my fellow Mets fans have told me the same how they hate the deal he got. Thus far it seems like the Mets made a costly mistake.