We knew George Springer would cost a pretty penny, but how “pretty”? Despite his ties to the New York area, the Connecticut native apparently has no intention of giving the Mets a hometown discount. Per SNY’s Andy Martino, Springer, a three-time All-Star and former World Series MVP, is seeking well over $150 million in contract talks with New York and Toronto, who have reportedly emerged as the 31-year-old’s top suitors.
That figure has been a nonstarter for the Mets, who prefer a deal more along the lines of five years at $125 million. New York has money to throw around with new owner Steve Cohen vowing to flex his financial muscle this offseason, though to this point, the Mets and Springer have yet to reach a “sufficient common ground” in negotiations.
Martino confirms New York is very much in the running for the former Astros outfielder with Springer considered a “more likely target” for the Mets than fellow free agent Trevor Bauer (or at least until the reigning Cy Young winner lowers his outrageous salary demands). However, the two sides remain a “good distance apart” with Springer’s camp bracing for a lengthy negotiation that could stretch “well into the next month.” The Mets seem amenable to upping their current offer to Springer, though it’s unclear if they’d be able to reach his desired $150 million.
If New York bows out of the Springer Sweepstakes, the Mets could pivot to Bauer or turn their attention to more affordable options like ex-Twins workhorse Jake Odorizzi or ace reliever Liam Hendriks. A former first-round pick who starred at UConn before debuting for Houston in 2014, Springer boasts a .270/.361/.491 career batting line with 174 homers, 458 RBI, 567 runs scored and 48 steals over 795 major-league appearances. His 19 postseason homers tie him with future Hall-of-Famer Albert Pujols for fourth all-time.