The New York Mets have eight players who are arbitration-eligible for the 2023 season. Over at MLB Trade Rumors, the projections are already out for what each player on the Mets and the other 29 other ball clubs will make. If you’ve followed these projections in the past, you will have noticed they are usually pretty spot on.
Arbitration-eligibility is for players who have earned enough service time beyond rookie contract status and are not yet at free agent eligibility. For most players, they can get three years of arbitration with a fourth year also quite common for others. It all depends on service time.
So, how much is it that MLB Trade Rumors predicts the arbitration-eligible Mets will make?
Mets contract predictions for their 8 arbitration-eligible players
Here’s what MLB Trade Rumors has:
Daniel Vogelbach - $2.9 million (or Mets can pay him $1.5 million from a club option)
Tomas Nido - $1.6 million
Dominic Smith - $4 million
Jeff McNeil - $6.2 million
Joey Lucchesi - $1.15 million
Drew Smith - $1.2 million
Pete Alonso – $15.9 million
Luis Guillorme - $1.5 million
There are no real surprises here but there are some players who might end up getting much different figures from the Mets or another team.
Daniel Vogelbach is certainly a candidate the Mets could non-tender. Considering the role he’d play on them in 2023 as a part-time DH yet again, it might be wiser to move on from him. Even at an affordable rate, it’s a gamble that might not pay off so well as we witnessed in 2022.
A projected salary of $4 million might make Dominic Smith a little tougher to trade. While this is pocket change for Steve Cohen, it’s quite clear the Mets are ready to move on. It won’t make it impossible to move on from him but could eliminate some of the more frugal clubs from any interest whatsoever.
The final takeaway from this is that it might be time to start looking at extensions. Pete Alonso’s projected $15.9 million puts him in the territory to possibly hit $20 million in 2024. He’d be the most obvious player to buy out some arbitration time from. He might even sign the deal now although his strong play continues to bode well for his future.
Jeff McNeil is the other obvious potential extension candidate on this list. Projected to make significantly less than Alonso, his age has always been one of the big questions about his future. The 2022 National League batting leader turns 31 next April. Although his value is at an all-time high right now, a five-year deal worth around $60 million which buys out his final two arbitration seasons would be reasonable for both sides.
Decisions regarding these arbitration-eligible players are just one part of the offseason that lies ahead for the Mets. How many of these players will actually be back and which ones could get an extension instead?