NL batting champion Jeff McNeil agrees to four-year, $50 million extension with Mets: report


The squirrel has found his nut.

Jeff McNeil has agreed to a four-year, $50 million extension with the Mets, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The contract reportedly includes a fifth-year team option that could bring the total deal to $63.75 million or a $2 million buyout bringing the guarantee to $52 million.

The 30-year-old slashed .326/.382/.454 with nine homers and 62 RBI en route to his first-career NL batting title. McNeil received NL MVP votes as well in 2022 (finishing 15th) as he ranked third in WAR amongst second basemen with 5.9 and ranked second with his 143 WRC+ behind only Jose Altuve.

The two-time All-Star was set to become a free agent after 2025, but GM Billy Eppler and company took a page out of their rival Atlanta Braves’ playbook by extending their contact-hitting utility man years before he was set to hit the open market at a number that on the surface seems incredibly team friendly.

The Mets drafted McNeil in the 12th round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of Cal State-Long Beach. His first full season in the big leagues came in 2019 when he was also named to the NL All-Star team.

The Silver Slugger played all over the diamond for Buck Showalter in 2022 as he recorded 106 games at second base, 47 in the outfield and one at third base providing long-term versatility for Steve Cohen who figures to continue pursuing top-tier talent for years to come as his payroll is projected to land around an unprecedented $370 million this season.

McNeil also batted all over the lineup with most games coming out of the fifth spot in the order. The veteran slotted into every single spot in the order except second and ninth. Growing up, McNeil had to decide whether to pursue professional golf or become a Major League Baseball player as he played just one season on the diamond in high school. Now he has 50 million reasons, along with some hardware, that has justified his decision.

The Mets now have locked up two of their cornerstone homegrown position players in Brandon Nimmo — who signed an eight-year, $160 million contract — and McNeil this offseason. The next player that figures to be on the to-do list is Pete Alonso.

Alonso, like McNeil, is a free agent after the 2024 season. The 28-year-old has arguably been the Mets’ best hitter since 2019 when he broke Aaron Judge’s rookie home run record with 53. The first basemen led the NL in RBI (131) last season while launching 40 homers and slashing .271/.352/.518. The slugger was also drafted by the Mets (second round of the 2016 MLB Draft).

Cohen has shown a commitment to building a sustainable winner by ensuring the players that are worth keeping are indeed kept.



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