New York Mets Extending Second Baseman Jeff McNeil on a Four-Year Deal
Someday, the Chicago Cubs are going to extend a player and it’s gonna be neato burrito.
That day is not today, though, and it’s the New York Mets and Jeff McNeil taking the stage:
McNeil, 31 in April, has hit a whopping .307/.370/.458/131 wRC+ so far in his career, and was set to make in the $7 million range in 2023, his second-to-last year of arbitration. So this deal buys out that year, his final year of arbitration, and then two free agent years. The $12.5 million AAV is quite modest, given how excellent McNeil has been, but I presume is partly due to his age. McNeil wouldn’t have hit free agent until he was heading into his age-33 season.
Still, with a cheap club option there at the end, too, this looks like a no-brainer for the Mets.
With McNeil a second baseman who was in his arbitration years, there will necessarily be discussions of how the comp fares for Nico Hoerner, whom we VERY MUCH want to see the Cubs extend. On the one hand, Hoerner is five years younger than McNeil and has shown the ability to play high-level shortstop. On the other hand, McNeil has been a monster at the plate and a decent defender, while also being a year closer to free agency.
On the whole, I’ve gotta think this looks pretty team-friendly to outside observers, even granting McNeil’s age. It probably doesn’t create a great comp for Hoerner, if his camp were even looking to it to create one.