Padres fans can be thankful watching the Francisco Lindor situation

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

There is a ton of excitement for both New York Mets and San Diego Padres fans heading into Opening Day on Thursday. But those respective fanbases find themselves in two wildly differing situations given the events of the last month-plus.

While San Diego locked up their star shortstop on a 14-year, $340 million mega deal, the Mets’ big offseason acquisition Francisco Lindor is locked in a standoff with his new team with just hours until his self-imposed negotiation deadline. Should New York and the infielder fail to agree to terms prior to Opening Day, he’ll hit free agency at year’s end.

That’s not for a lack of trying on the Mets’ part. New owner Steve Cohen certainly hasn’t been hunkered down out of the public eye during all this,

I guess that’s transparency? Regardless, the Mets have reportedly put forth a 10-year, $325 million offer with no deferred money. That would lock up the four-time All-Star through his age-37 season, essentially making sure he spends the rest of his career in the Big Apple. But that’s not enough apparently, with Lindor sticking to his 12 year, $385 million demand.

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Were the Mets to pony up the extra two years and $60 million, it would be the most guaranteed money ever given to a player. Personally, I think the current top dog, Mookie Betts, is a far more valuable commodity than Lindor, but that’s for Cohen and his front office to decide.

It’s worth nothing that next year’s potential free agent class of shortstops might just be the best ever. Without an extension for Lindor, next winter could see the likes of Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, Corey Seager and Javier Baez join him in free agency – which could very well wind up with several of these guys fetching monster deals.

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Now let’s bring it full circle. As all this drama keeps Mets fans hoping and praying for a last-minute deal, the Friar Faithful are living the high life, knowing the most exciting young player in baseball is here for the long haul.

Again, I can’t say enough about the job AJ Preller has done – not just this winter, but during his tenure in San Diego. He was playing the long game and it looks like it’s about to pay off in a big way, with a roster that’s poised to be legitimate contenders for the better part of the next decade.

Of course, none of that would be possible without ownership stepping up either. More than a handful of teams slashed and burned the baseball operations budget coming out of last year’s pandemic-shortened season that cost organizations tens upon tens of millions of dollars.

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But instead of clutching his checkbook, Peter Seidler stepped up, put his money where his mouth is and set his team up for the chance to bring that long-coveted World Series title to San Diego.