The New York Mets have spared no expense throughout the offseason and they continued that trend Friday.
National League batting champion Jeff McNeil and the Mets reportedly agreed on a four-year extension worth $50 million, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The deal, which is pending a physical, also includes a fifth-year club option which could raise the value of the contract up to $63.75 million. This has also removed any need for McNeil to challenge his arbitration offer from the Mets, which previously stood at $6.25 million for the 2023 season.
McNeil led Major League Baseball with a career-high .326 batting average last season with nine home runs, 39 doubles and 62 RBIs. That production was good enough for 21st among all players in offensive WAR (5.1). The 30-year-old, who made his second All-Star appearance in 2022, has shown a top-of-the-line plate discipline having struck out just 242 times in 1,837 at-bats with 138 walks during his career.
The left-handed hitter has also proven to be an adept defender. McNeil has patrolled second base, third base and both outfield corners in five seasons with the Mets while having registered a fielding percentage above .923 at each position.
Meanwhile, the Mets, who have embarked on a shopping spree before Opening Day, hit roughly $467 million in their projected payroll, which would mark an all-time record. New York is already tied to the salaries of Justin Verlander ($43 million), Brandon Nimmo ($20.5 million), Kodai Senga ($15 million), and Jose Quintana ($13 million) for 2023 — just to name a few.
New York won 101 games last season but came up short with an early postseason exit in the NL wild-card round against the San Diego Padres.