Report: Mets agree to 4-year, $50M deal with batting champ McNeil
Jeff McNeil is sticking around Flushing for the foreseeable future.
McNeil also gets a club option for 2027 that could increase the deal's total value to $63.75 million, Passan reports. Completion of the agreement is pending a physical.
Prior to the agreement, McNeil and the Mets were scheduled to go to an arbitration hearing. The extension buys out his final two years of arbitration and delays his potential free agency by at least two years.
The 30-year-old has been a consistent threat atop the Mets' lineup since debuting in 2018, sporting a lifetime .307/.370/.458 slash line over 2,039 big-league plate appearances. McNeil has made up for a slight lack of power with his excellent contact and on-base skills. He's also one of the toughest hitters to strike out, owning a 10.4 strikeout percentage in 2022 - the third-lowest among qualified players.
The two-time All-Star won his first batting title last year with a major-league-best .326 average. He also finished top 10 in the NL in OBP, OPS, hits, and WAR en route to earning a Silver Slugger.
McNeil will continue to slot in as New York's primary second baseman as part of an All-Star double-play combo with Francisco Lindor. He also offers manager Buck Showalter plenty of versatility, having bounced between the keystone and both corner outfield spots for most of his career.
McNeil is the latest big signing for the Mets and owner Steve Cohen, who's been baseball's biggest spender this winter. Before this agreement, Cohen's 2023 payroll was already sitting at approximately $364 million, an amount miles above the highest competitive balance tax threshold.