The New York Mets and reigning National League batting champion Jeff McNeil have agreed to a four-year extension worth $50 million, the team announced Tuesday. The contract includes a club option that could increase the value to $63.75 million.
McNeil, 30, was previously scheduled to qualify for free agency after the 2024 season. He's coming off a 2022 campaign that saw him bat .326/.382/.454 (140 OPS+) with nine home runs, worth an estimated 5.7 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball Reference. For his career, he's posted a .307/.370/.458 slash line (128 OPS+) while making two All-Star Games and winning a Silver Slugger Award.
McNeil's new contract (and its $12.5 million AAV) will push the Mets' payroll plus projected luxury tax number to $467 million, per Passan. That mark will establish a new league record.
McNeil split last season between a few different positions. He made most of his appearances (106) at second base, though he also saw burn in the outfield corners (47 combined). His offensive potency, particularly against right-handed pitchers, in combination with his defensive versatility makes him a valuable player to have on the roster. Clearly the Mets agree. Expect McNeil to continue to bounce between the keystone and the outfield, where he can spare New York's collection of right-handed corner outfielders -- Starling Marte, Mark Canha, and Tommy Pham -- from suboptimal matchups.
It's worth noting that McNeil is one of two notable position players on the Mets roster with more than four years of major league service time. The other is first baseman Pete Alonso, who earlier this month avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year pact worth $14.5 million. It's unclear if the Mets and Alonso have engaged in long-term talks as of late, or if it's a possibility ahead of his date with free agency following the 2024 season.
Either way, McNeil joins a sampling of veteran New York position players who are under team control through at least the 2025 season. That group includes shortstop Francisco Lindor, center fielder Brandon Nimmo, and the aforementioned Marte.