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Lock Up the Cornerstones
Tie a bow with Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil
Waking up Wednesday morning to the news that somehow, some way, Carlos Correa had jumped ship from an all-but-done deal with the San Francisco Giants to the New York Mets over a reported dispute over physicals was a feeling that words cannot describe.
The offseason has been a never-ending news cycle of quality signing after quality signing, making the 2023 season arguably the most exciting to look forward to in franchise history.
What if I told you, more could be done?
You don’t have to look far outside the same locker room Correa, Jose Quintana, Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, and company are joining this February. These two guys have made their impact practically since being given the call-up to the big leagues and met the expectations handed to them. Now it’s time to cement this thing in place
Alonso has become one of if not the vocal leaders in the clubhouse for the Metsies, always waving the flag in public, and rallying around teammates every chance he gets. He’s also become one of the more elite hitting first basemen in baseball, adding gap-to-gap prowess to his elite power ability.
Numbers do not need to be presented to prove what the young star brings to the team. After a stellar 2022 season in the middle of the order plus what he means to the organization and the fans, Alonso deserves to be a Met long-term.
Jeff McNeil won a batting title in 2022, batting .326 with 176 hits and a .382 OBP. Outside of a 2021 season riddled with injuries, McNeil hit over .310 every other year, including his first taste of big league pitching in 2018 where he hit .329 in 225 at-bats.
He will be the heart and soul of the lower third of the lineup in 2023, looking to continue his clutch ways (still hilarious to expect a batting title winner to bat that low, but alas).
Outside of his brief offensive downturn, McNeil’s time with the Mets has been solid.
Whatever issue there was between McNeil and Francisco Lindor’s 2021 dust-up, both put their differences aside and came together to form one of, if not the best defensive tandem up the middle in all of baseball.
Big hit after big hit, defensive wizardry night in and night out. McNeil has found himself in line for a well-deserved payday.
Believe it or not, the Mets have a sizable amount of financial flexibility over the next few years. Both Alonso and McNeil are under team control until the end of 2024 when both players could ultimately become free agents. Alonso would be heading into free agency at 30 while McNeil would be 33 when he can negotiate for a new contract.
Both players have been of immense importance to the Mets organization both on and off the field.
As important as Lindor and Correa will be for New York in the long term, Alonso and McNeil have been here through this team’s eclipse. It’s their turn, plus they are worth every penny. Lock up the best infield in baseball.
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