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Elephant Rumblings: Francisco Lindor signs $341 million extension with Mets; MLB moves All-Star Game from Atlanta

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MLB news roundup

New York Mets v Miami Marlins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Good morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!

The 2021 MLB season has begun! The Oakland A’s lost their first game, but at least it happened and fans were in attendance to see it.

The new cycle is heating up quickly, so let’s get started!

Lindor extension

The New York Mets signed shortstop Francisco Lindor to a contract extension on Wednesday, and it’s historic. The 10-year, $341 million deal is the third-largest in MLB history in terms of total guaranteed dollars, although it does have a small percentage deferred. MLB Trade Rumors has more details on the full terms.

  1. $365 million, Mookie Betts, 12 years (LAD)
  2. $360 million, Mike Trout, 10 years (LAA)
  3. $341 million, Francisco Lindor, 10 years (NYM)
  4. $340 million, Fernando Tatis Jr, 14 years (SDP)
  5. $330 million, Bryce Harper, 13 years (PHI)

Lindor narrowly edges out the total dollars guaranteed to Tatis in February, though Lindor’s will come in a much shorter duration since he was closer to free agency. Plus, Lindor was already due $22 million this season, and the new deal doesn’t kick in until 2022, so he has more like 11 years and $363 million committed to him from this day forward.

One record Lindor does set is the most dollars committed by a team he hadn’t yet played a game for, beating Harper’s free agent pact with the Phillies. Lindor was acquired from Cleveland over the offseason, and he still hasn’t made his Mets debut, as their opening series against the Nationals was postponed (see MLB News section below).

The shortstop market is going to be loaded next winter, even with Lindor off the board already. Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Javier Baez, and Trevor Story are still set to become free agents, as is Marcus Semien if a team wants to move him back over from his 2B assignment this year in Toronto.

But wait! There’s one more extension relevant to A’s fans, as the division rival Angels locked up one of their better players. Second baseman David Fletcher signed a 5yr/$26m deal with club options that could make it 7yr/$41m, reports Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic. The five-year guarantee takes him through all of arbitration and what would have been his first year of free agency (2025, age 31).

So, congrats, Athletics Nation. We get to watch Fletcher go 5-for-4 with eight doubles in every game against the Halos for the next half-decade.

MLB moves All-Star Game

The All-Star Game was set to be held in the Atlanta Braves’ new stadium this summer, but MLB announced Friday that they’ll move it to another location. Per a league press release:

Major League Baseball announced on Friday that it will relocate the 2021 All-Star Game and MLB Draft, originally scheduled to take place in Atlanta, to a to-be-determined location.

The decision comes a little more than a week after the passage of S.B. 202, a Georgia law that President Joe Biden criticized earlier this week, saying that it will restrict voting access for residents of the state.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement that the decision to move the All-Star Game was “the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport” and was made after consultation with teams, former and current players, the MLB Players Association and The Players Alliance, among others.

“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” Manfred said. “In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.”

The Braves aren’t happy about the decision.

Source of the boycott

Remains to be seen where the ASG will be moved to

A’s Coverage

Athletics Nation

A’s injuries

The universe continues to have it out for Murphy, soon after recovering from a collapsed lung

Rosenthal latest update

Fiers optimism

And Frankie sounds good to go!

MLB News & Interest

Opening Day

Elvis Andrus, first plate appearance for the A’s (to be fair, it later ended with him hitting a double)

Pinder, 2021 breakout candidate

MLB debut!

Hall of Famer

I’ll sign it

The A’s make this list once!

Finally a Bieber who doesn’t suck

And in the postseason, there was Robin Ventura

AN will always love you, Marcus!

Hope JD is OK

Yikes

Best of Twitter

RIP

Dallas has a Rollie Fingers tattoo, so now somebody else needs to get a tat of this fan to keep the chain going

Yup agreed

Good summary of the 2021 A’s

As it should be, for a manager who has more than proven himself

Well then it’s settled, may I suggest a lifetime contract?

Bummer news for a former A’s prospect

Reba!