3) NY Mets trade block needs to have Jeff McNeil on it
Jeff McNeil’s 2022 batting title season is sandwiched between two similar down seasons. The Mets shouldn’t sell him low. It doesn’t hurt to shop him around especially with the presence of Ronny Mauricio and Luisangel Acuna in the system and possibly almost ready for the big leagues.
The benefits of keeping McNeil around are plentiful. His ability to play multiple positions and do so well makes him an asset. The problem with the Mets is McNeil is yet another light-hitting player who they can excuse as a second baseman but as a corner outfielder feels a little too extreme.
Power isn’t needed at every position. To have McNeil whose own abilities to hit for a high average can be called into question as your starting left fielder feels like the team hasn’t done enough. Brandon Nimmo hasn’t exactly had the greatest of seasons in 2023. Starling Marte is one of the biggest question marks on the roster. Those three in the outfield are a roll of the dice. McNeil can certainly stay and remain the starting second baseman and fill-in at other positions. He just isn’t a player the Mets should hold for ransom in a trade.
The McNeil contract extension he signed earlier this year is guaranteed through 2026 with a team option in 2027. This doesn’t mesh as perfectly with the expected plan to aim at 2025 for the next season when they seriously compete.
Prediction: There are a lot of McNeil trade rumors in the offseason. He ultimately stays and rebounds with a big year in 2024. Maybe then, with the trade value up again, the Mets ship him out.