Jeff McNeil will be staying in Queens for the foreseeable future after agreeing to a four-year, $50 million contract extension with the New York Mets, ESPN reported Friday.
The utility player won the National League batting title in 2022 and was set to enter free agency after the 2024 season. But now the deal, which is pending a physical, will keep him in New York for several more years.
The report noted that a fifth-year club option would take the total value to $63.75 million.
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McNeil’s style of play emphasizes making contact with the ball when he is at the plate. In 2,039 career plate appearances, McNeil has struck out just 242 times.
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He also has an impressive .307 career batting average, which is third behind Luis Arraez, now of the Miami Marlins, and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman among players with a minimum of 1,000 at-bats since McNeil’s 2018 debut.
McNeil knocked in 39 doubles, nine home runs and 62 RBI in 589 plate appearances in 2022.
McNeil has been a key part of the Mets’ roster since his 2018 debut, and showed his versatility by played at infield and outfield positions. He logged 106 games at second base last season, a career-high, and spent 47 games as an outfielder.
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The average annual value of the deal is $12.5 million, which pushes the Mets’ new projected payroll plus tax to an unprecedented $467 million.
The organization likely believes the 30-year-old’s skill set will age well. But the use of a pitch clock, larger bases and a ban on defensive shifts could play a role in McNeil’s overall impact going forward.
The Mets won 101 games during the regular season last year, but had a disappointing end to the campaign with a loss to the San Diego Padres in the wild-card round.
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McNeil batted a MLB-best .326 last season.