Jeff McNeil, one of the very best natural hitters in all of baseball is extending his stay in Queens.
The defending MLB batting champion and New York Mets agreed to a four-year, $50 million extension on Friday that keeps him in town through the 2026 season, as first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The agreement also includes a fifth-year option that would increase the value of the deal to $63.75 million.
It’s a just reward for McNeil, who led the majors with a .326 batting average last season while posting an .836 OPS with nine home runs and 62 RBI.
The 30-year-old has quickly developed into one of the best pure hitters in team history, as well. Rebounding emphatically from a 2021 season in which he batted just .251, his big 2022 campaign raised his career average to .307.
While that ranks second in franchise history only behind John Olerud (.315), McNeil is also just one of seven active players in Major League Baseball with at least 1,000 career plate appearances and a career average over .300
It’s the latest crucial move of an active Mets offseason that was headlined by a flurry of moves between November and December, resulting in the acquisitions of major pieces like starting pitchers Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, and Jose Quintana while retaining key contributors like center fielder Brandon Nimmo and closer Edwin Diaz.
McNeil originally had two more years of arbitration before potentially hitting the free-agent market in 2025.
It makes the last big potential to-do for the Mets this offseason is locking up slugging first baseman, Pete Alonso, who also is under team control through the 2024 season via arbitration.