Why Jeff McNeil opted for Mets extension over free agency revealed


    Jeff McNeil signed a contract extension with the New York Mets this past week. But why didn’t McNeil test the free agent market instead?

    Jeff McNeil and the New York Mets came to terms on a four-year/$50M contract extension this past week. The versatile infielder and two-time All-Star will now stay put in the Big Apple for the foreseeable future.

    McNeil was in his second year of arbitration eligibility, and after failing to come to terms on an agreement, he and the Mets were headed for an arbitration trial. The two sides were reportedly more than $1M apart in regards to McNeil’s 2023 salary.

    But the two sides ultimately came together, and rather than go through what can oftentimes be a contentious process, the Mets and McNeil agreed to a contract extension. But there are some in the industry that feel as though McNeil sold himself short.

    So, why did he go this route?

    Why Jeff McNeil opted for Mets extension over free agency revealed.

    ESPN’s Jeff Passan has shed some light as to why Jeff McNeil chose to ink an extension rather than entertain the free agent market.

    McNeil was under team control for two more seasons, meaning he would have reached free agency after the 2024 season. McNeil would be turning 33 years old prior to Opening Day in 2025. That’s typically the wrong side of 30 when it comes to securing a long-term contract.

    There’s also the matter of McNeil’s lack of power. General managers have put a big emphasis on power, and while McNeil led the National League in hitting last season, batting average doesn’t carry as much as it has in years past.

    McNeil is also just two years removed from posting a .679 OPS. Another year like that over the next two seasons might have given teams cause to pause before signing McNeil to a hefty contract.

    In the end, both Jeff McNeil and the New York Mets get what they wanted. McNeil has financial security for the next several seasons, and the Mets have part of their core returning for what owner Steve Cohen hopes is a World Series run.


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