Mets avoid arbitration with Pete Alonso, Drew Smith
NEW YORK — Pete Alonso and the Mets have agreed to a $14.5 million deal through the 2023 season to avoid salary arbitration, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
Friday marked the deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to agree on a salary for 2023 before exchanging salary figures, a move that usually results in a hearing from both sides. Instead, shortly before the clock struck midnight, the Mets announced that they had reconciled with one of the faces of their franchise for the second year in a row.
Alonso will make nearly double the $7.4 million he earned in his first year of eligibility last season, setting a record for the most single-season pay for an arbitration-eligible first baseman. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. tied him for that distinction in a deal with the Blue Jays later Friday.
Alonso’s raise comes after a 2022 season in which the 28-year-old was named a National League All-Star for the first time since his ’19 Rookie of the Year campaign and again finished in the top 10 in NL. Voting for the MVP Award. Alonso led the Majors with 131 RBIs and hit 40 home runs while compiling a .271/.352/.518 slash line.
Smith, meanwhile, will see his salary increase from the $750,000 he made in 2022 as the high-leverage righty posted a 3.33 ERA and career highs in hits (53), innings (46) and appearances ( 44).
As for McNeil, who is entering his age-31 season, he and the Mets could continue negotiations to reach a contract agreement in the coming weeks. But if the two sides cannot reach a consensus, his salary for the 2023 season will be determined by a panel of arbitrators at a hearing in February.
Fresh off one of the best offensive seasons of his career, which also resulted in his first Silver Slugger Award and NL MVP votes, McNeil will likely make much more than the $3 million he took in on the year his first arbitration eligibility in 2022. According to Feinsand, McNeil had $7.75 million, while the Mets had $6.25 million. If a hearing is held, the independent arbitrators will have to choose between these two salary figures.
Earlier this offseason, the Mets avoided arbitration with lefty Joey Lucchesi by agreeing to a one-year, $1.15 million deal (per source) in December, as well as first baseman/designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach by exercising an option the $1.5 million club. in November. The club also did not tender infielder/outfielder Dominic Smith, who signed with the Nationals last week, and righty Sean Reid-Foley, who underwent Tommy John surgery last May, before the November deadline to bypass the process. of arbitration.