jeff mcneil mets
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Reading into Carlos Correa’s Instagram story a few weeks ago didn’t work out for Mets fans. Despite getting burned, it’s not going to stop some from potentially falling into a similar trap with second baseman Jeff McNeil.

On Monday morning, the 2022 MLB batting champion snapped a picture outside Citi Field and shared it to his Instagram story. There wasn’t a caption included, allowing us to take the meaning of it in precisely one million different directions. As usual, Jomboy’s Jack Oliver (AKA Jolly Olive) said out loud what pretty much everyone was already thinking. Or hoping, at least:

Will Sammon of The Athletic said on Twitter McNeil was in town for a Little League appearance. However, it’s easy to see why people would perk up at the sight of this picture.

MLB teams had until Friday, January 13th to agree to 2023 contracts with arbitration-eligible players. The Mets had seven dudes who needed new contracts, and six of them got done before the deadline. McNeil was the only one that didn’t. His camp filed at $7.75 million and the Mets filed at $6.25 million.

While a deal for the upcoming season is obviously necessary, many are hoping both McNeil and Pete Alonso get long-term extensions in the very near future (myself included). They could currently be in the works… or not, depending on how you interpret general manager Billy Eppler’s recent comments. Here’s what MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reported after a conference call with the media last week:

Eppler politely brushed aside a question regarding potential contract extensions for Alonso and McNeil, two homegrown stars who each have two years remaining under team control. The window for locking up either player on a team-friendly deal likely closed several years ago, back before Alonso and McNeil had established themselves as middle-of-the-order hitters in their primes. But the Mets should still have interest in discussing new contracts for both, considering their importance to the franchise.

Eppler not commenting on the status of both Jeff McNeil and Alonso makes me feel like they’re trying to get something done. But then again, that’s just my own interpretation and speculation. But now we have this picture on McNeil’s Instagram story.

Could it mean an extension is getting finalized with the Mets’ resident Hit Machine? Or is he just stopping in at the park for something normal and not exciting? The lack of a caption makes me think there’s something exciting happening that he can’t specifically talk about yet.

But then again, I thought Correa’s son wearing an “I Love NY” shirt meant an agreement was coming. So, what the heck do I know, right? But still, we’ve got 23 days until pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie. New York’s offseason is essentially done, meaning we need to find a way to stay busy until players start taking the field. This will help distract us for the time being.

Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.