National league division champion Jeff McNeil And the New York Mets agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract extension on Friday, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN, ensuring one of the team’s key players will remain in Queens as the Mets seek to win their first World Series since 1986.

After Opening Day, the 31-year-old McNeil was scheduled to go to arbitration with the Mets, where they offered $6.25 million, asking $7.75 million. Instead, the gap spurred discussions about serving out the remaining two years of arbitration for McNeil, who has spent most of the free-agent buyout period. The deal, which is pending in person, includes a fifth-year club option that takes the total value to $63.75 million, sources told ESPN.

Because McNeal isn’t set to hit free agency before his 33-year-old season, a team that penalizes him for his age and a market that doesn’t reward contact-oriented players, makes an extension all the more attractive.

McNeil is one of the most at-bat wise in the sport, striking out just 242 times in 2,039 career plate appearances — a feat bested by nine players with at least 1,000 plate appearances since McNeil’s 2018 debut.

Only among them Michael Brantley And Luis Arez They are like killers in McNeil’s room. McNeil has a career .307 batting average — third behind Ararez and Freddie Freeman In that dimension. While power wasn’t a big part of McNeil’s game, he brought plenty of pop in 2022, hitting .326/.382/.454 with 39 doubles, 9 home runs, 62 RBIs and just 61 hits in 589 innings. .

McNeil’s versatility has proven important to the Mets throughout his career, as he regularly moves between the second base and corner outfield spots. Although he played a career-high 106 games last season and was above average, he spent 47 games in the outfield for a team that won 101 games.

Because the average annual value of the deal is $12.5 million, the Mets’ payroll will continue to grow. While the expected CBT is one of the arbitration numbers, McNeil’s new CBT number reflects the AAV – and calls for a 90% tax on $4.25 million-$5.75 million.

The Mets’ new payroll and taxes are around $467 million, breaking the major league record.

For the Mets, the savings in future years could be worth the penalty. In his five big league seasons, McNeil has 16 more hits than replacement, and his skill set tends to develop nicely. But batting averages’ application of pitch clocks and blocking in defensive shifts make McNeill’s skill set unique.

Of course, McNeil’s batting average could rise as well, and in addition to his extraordinary .251 in 2021, his season numbers are .329, .318, .311 and .326. In the year He is expected to be part of an infield that includes a first baseman in 2022 Pete AlonsoShort stop Francisco Linder In 2021, there was an unknown garbage incident with him, although they have been created since then – and some combination Edward Escobar, Louis Guillorme And a beginner Brett Batt According to the third.

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