The Major League Baseball offseason is in full swing. While a number of high-profile players have already found a home for next season, there’s a lot that can happen between now and the start of the 2023 MLB season.
Notable Moves This Week
|Yandy Diaz||Tampa Bay Rays||3-year extension, $24 million|
|Jeff McNeil||New York Mets||4-year extension, $50 million|
This week’s biggest news was all about contract extensions. Yandy Diaz and Jeff McNeil each avoided arbitration, signing multi-year extensions ahead of the 2023 season.
Diaz’s contract buys out his final two years of arbitration and first year of free agency. It also included a $12 million club option for the 2026 season. From a business perspective, the extension aligns with the Rays’ spending philosophy. The organization is likelier to negotiate with a talent they know works in the system (Diaz, Jeffrey Springs, Pete Fairbanks) than to shell out big bucks in free agency. That’s not to say that Diaz is not a high-caliber player in his own right.
Despite his visible strength and size, Diaz is not a power hitter. His greatest strengths are driving up counts and making contact, displayed by his .401 OBP and career-high .824 OPS last season. He can go toe-to-toe with the best pitchers in the league, sees the ball well, and is a great bat in the lineup.
McNeil will stay in New York through the 2026 season. The deal buys out his final two years of arbitration and two free agent years with a $13.75 million club option for 2027. At roughly $12.5 million per year, the Mets got a bargain for a player of McNeil’s caliber. In 2022, he hit .326/.382/.454. His career .307 batting average ranks second in franchise history, behind only John Olerud (.315). The deal is mutually beneficial for McNeil, 31, who has cited his desire for stability and security as he loomed closer to the free agent market.