National Batting League Champion Jeff McNeil The New York Mets on Friday agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract extension, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN, ensuring that one of the team’s key players will remain at Queens as the Mets look to win their first World Series since 1986.
McNeil, who turns 31 a week after opening, was scheduled to go to an arbitration trial with the Mets, where he was asking for $7.75 million and they offered $6.25 million. Instead, the hiatus spurred talks about keeping McNeil with two remaining arbitration years, which he settled on buying multiple free agent seasons. Sources told ESPN the deal, which is effectively on hold, includes the club’s option for a fifth year that would bring the total value to $63.75 million.
Since McNeil wasn’t scheduled to go into free agency until just before his 33-year-old season, the specter of teams penalizing him for his age, plus the market not necessarily rewarding players interested in calling, made the extension more attractive.
McNeil is certainly among the sport’s leading performers, with just 242 hits in 2,039 career plate appearances—a better strike rate by only nine players with at least 1,000 game appearances since McNeil made his debut in 2018.
Only among those Michael Brantley And Louis Araz They are in McNeil’s class as a hitter. 307 batting average – third behind Ariz and Freddie Freeman in this range. Even if strength isn’t a big part of McNeil’s game, he’s brought plenty of pop in 2022, where he’s reached. .
McNeil’s versatility proved crucial to the Mets throughout his career, as he regularly switched between second base and cornerpoints. Although he played 106 games for second place last season and was well above average there, he also spent 47 games in the field with a team that won 101 games but lost to the San Diego Padres in the wild card round.
With the average annual value of the deal being $12.5 million, the Mets’ competitive tax bill will continue to grow. While the expected CBT hit was either arbitration figures, McNeil’s new CBT figure will reverse AAV — and claim a 90% tax on $4.25 million to $5.75 million.
The projected new Mets salary plus taxes is about $467 million, which would break a major league record.
For the Mets, the savings in future years could be worth the penalty. In his five major league seasons, McNeil has more than 16 wins above replacement, and his skill set tends to age well. But the possibility that hitting rates could pick up with the implementation of the pitch clock and blocking defensive turnovers could make McNeil’s skill set less remarkable.
Of course, McNeil’s batting average can also go up, and aside from his anomalous . 251 in 2021, his season numbers are .329, .318, .311, and .326. He is expected to be part of the infield in 2022 that includes the first baseman Alonso Houseshortstop Francisco Lindor – with whom he had an infamous stash accident in 2021, though they’ve since made up – and some combination of Eduardo EscobarAnd Louis Gillorm and upward Brett Patti At third base.
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