Breaking down Mets’ Jeff McNeil’s new contract

jeff mcneil, mets
Aug 23, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil (1) throws the ball to first base to complete a double play against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets held a press conference yesterday afternoon for Jeff McNeil after the agreement on a four-year, $50 million contract extension. McNeil expressed loads of excitement about the deal as well as for this upcoming season.

It certainly is quite an accomplishment for a player who was a 12th-round draft pick by the Mets in 2013 and began his age-26 season in 2018 for the organization in Double-A. McNeil went on to be called up to the big leagues in July of that year.

He shared some of his thrilling thoughts on being able to sign the contract as well as the talent on the Mets team at yesterday’s press conference.

“Yeah, I think it starts with ownership. You know, they want to put a winner on the field. And, it’s been pretty amazing to see what that’s looked like the last few years. The free agents we’re bringing in, the players we’re investing in. So, you know, I want to be a part of that. New York Mets is the only team I know. Been in the organization since 2013. That’s what I want to be. New York is my home. I’m super happy to be playing for these fans and playing for this team for years to come.”

Following his press conference, in an interview with Steve Gelbs of SNY, McNeil stated, “I’m super happy to be a New York Met for a long time.”

Specifics on the structure of Jeff McNeil’s new contract with the Mets:

The Mets made the signing of McNeil official yesterday with an announcement made to social media. Shortly after, the terms of the deal were released. McNeil will earn the following salaries over the next four years of his $50 million contract.

  • 2023: $6.25M
  • 2024: $10.25M
  • 2025: $15.75M
  • 2026: $15.75M

It is also worth noting that there is a $2 million buyout on the club option the Mets have for McNeil’s 2027 salary of $15.75 million.

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Starting with year one of the deal, the 2023 amount of $6.25 million McNeil is owed, ironically, was what the Mets proposed to McNeil a few weeks ago to avoid arbitration. On this deal, McNeil has an average annual salary of $12.5 million. With the Mets’ heavy spending this offseason in pursuit of a World Series, their payroll is set to be at an all-time high in MLB history. Steve Cohen will have a hefty luxury tax to pay. The good thing with the structure of this McNeil contract is that the salary this year is fairly low, taking some stress off the Mets’ enormous payroll.

From there, McNeil’s salary rises four million in 2024. It then raises $4.5 million in 2025 as McNeil will make a nice and well-earned $15.75 million in 2025 and 2026. The structure of this contract is certainly a more backloaded one, as the Mets have to work with many highly-paid players at the moment. Finally, the potential fifth year of this deal, in 2027, the $15.75 million club option the Mets have boosts the total value of this contract up to $63.75 million for McNeil. The Mets now have McNeil under contract through at least his age 34 season and potentially 35.

Over five years with the Mets, McNeil has accomplished a whole lot. He has been a two-time All-Star (2019, 2022). McNeil was the MLB Batting Champion in 2022 with his .326 batting average. It led to him winning the Silver Slugger Award for the National League at second base.

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In four of his five years as a Met, McNeil has batted .311 or better. Since joining the Mets in 2018, McNeil has a career batting average of .307. His OPS throughout his five-year career is .827 but has been .836 or better in four of five years, with a whopping .916 in 2019. Beyond just what he offers offensively, McNeil has provided the Mets with immense versatility in the field. Whether it be left or right field, third base, and where he will predominately play, second base, McNeil has always been able to give the Mets positional flexibility.

McNeil is a pure, elite-level contact bat and of the best assets the Mets have in their lineup. As the team continues its strong chase for a World Series this year and in the years to come, McNeil is a core piece in getting it done. The homegrown talent is now locked in as a Met for at least the next four years.