NEW YORK (AP)Pete Alonso agreed Friday on a $14.5 million contract with the New York Mets for next season to avoid salary arbitration.
The slugging first baseman nearly doubled his $7.4 million salary from 2022, when he tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting. He batted .271 with 40 home runs and an .869 OPS in 160 games.
The two-time All-Star and 2019 NL Rookie of the Year can become a free agent following the 2024 season.
Five of the six other Mets who began the day eligible for arbitration agreed to one-year deals: catcher Tomas Nido ($1,575,000), reliever Drew Smith ($1.3 million), infielder Luis Guillorme ($1.6 million) and right-handers Elieser Hernandez ($1.6 million) and Jeff Brigham ($760,000).
The only one who did not was All-Star second baseman Jeff McNeil, the reigning big league batting champion. McNeil asked for $7.75 million, while the Mets offered him $6.25 million.
Friday was the deadline for arbitration-eligible players to swap proposed salaries with their teams. If the Mets and McNeil are unable to strike a deal, they would go to a hearing before a three-person arbitration panel sometime between Jan. 30 and Feb. 17 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
In another move, the Mets acquired minor league outfielder Luis De La Cruz from Baltimore as the player to be named in the trade that sent catcher James McCann to the Orioles last month.
De La Cruz, 20, has batted .252 with one home run, 19 RBIs and a .405 on-base percentage over 60 career games in the Dominican Summer League.
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