The trade rumors surrounding Mets first baseman Pete Alonso right now are pretty ridiculous. Is he part of this imaginary “toxic” clubhouse culture in Queens? Is it all but a formality that he’s getting traded this winter? Or, could there be an agreement on a long-term extension?
I’m already tired of it all, and the season isn’t even over yet. While Alonso’s long-term future is still up in the air, SNY’s Andy Martino shed light on the Mets’ near-term plans:
I’m not in the business of predicting the future, but can tell you this: The Mets’ strong expectation today is that Pete Alonso will be on the team in 2024.
Over the past few weeks, as Alonso trade rumors have congealed into a perception of near inevitability, the reaction among Mets executives can be best summarized by two words: Surprised and confused.
While not ruling out the chance of the proverbial being “blown away” by an offer this winter, the team does not plan to actively shop Alonso.
The reason is straightforward: The Mets are serious about fielding a competitive roster next season, and see Alonso as a necessary part of that. Their current inclination is to keep him until free agency, then negotiate with him as they did with Edwin Diaz and Brandon Nimmo (who they retained) and Jacob deGrom (who they did not).
Based on his contract status, Alonso was lumped into the players New York was willing to part with at the trade deadline. And while some reports said it was close-ish to happening, it doesn’t seem like that’s the case.
Here’s what Martino said about Alonso’s deadline availability:
When GM Billy Eppler touched base with his counterparts, he listed Alonso among the 11 or 12 players in whom the Mets were receiving the most interest. But his message was clear: The asking price would be extremely high, and was going to hurt.
This all checks out. It’s also further proof that the Mets aren’t punting the 2024 season. The best version of this team has Alonso anchoring the lineup as its clean-up hitter. Unless something drastic goes down in the coming months, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
I don’t necessarily love the idea of him reaching free agency, though. Mostly because anything can happen on the open market (See deGrom, Jacob). But Nimmo showed us it’s possible. The Mets will also have an exclusive negotiating window right after the World Series to try and strike a quick deal. You know, like they did with Diaz.
So, this should settle things for a bit (we hope). The Mets’ preferred situation right now is to retain Alonso for at least 2024. We know they’ve talked about an extension in the past, so that’s surely not off the table, either.
Don’t forget how things worked out for Jeff McNeil this past winter. His reps and the Mets couldn’t agree on a 2023 contract. Instead of settling it via arbitration, they agreed to a four-year extension.
As Martino said, things can change from where they currently stand. But just as we suspected, those reports saying Alonso was as good as gone this winter are just noise. Inaccurate noise, to be more specific.