Mets first baseman Pete Alonso is currently projected to hit free agency following the 2024 season. There have been a plethora of rumors saying New York could trade him this winter. However, both sides have had negotiations regarding a long-term extension.
That’s great news, but we also didn’t have any idea what the hold-up has been with regard to getting something done. We now have an idea, thanks to a recent report from Pat Ragazzo of Sports Illustrated:
The New York Mets and star first baseman Pete Alonso are on the same page when it comes to financials for a long-term extension, but they are apart when it comes to the amount of years on a potential deal, as a team source told Inside the Mets.
The same source says Alonso is seeking a 10-year deal, but the Mets have been unwilling to meet him on this number so far. Alonso will turn 29-years-old in December, so a decade long contract would bring him up to 39, which could be why the Mets are currently reluctant to go there.
It’s kind of obvious why the Mets are reluctant to agree to a 10-year deal. He’s on the fast track to being the most prolific home run hitter in franchise history. However, the majority of the soon-to-be 29-year-old’s next contract will take place in his 30s. They already have one large 10-year deal on the books with Francisco Lindor. New York probably wants to keep it that way.
Ragazzo also mentioned how Cohen has said the Mets could just re-sign Alonso once he reaches free agency, as they did with Brandon Nimmo and Edwin Diaz.
While trying to read between the lines of this latest report, I have four thoughts.
Mets clearly want to keep Pete long-term
Even with dangling him out at the trade deadline and all the rumors that came with it, this makes it pretty clear how much the Mets value Alonso. Guys who can hit 40 homers and drive in 120 runs consistently don’t grow on trees. This is the kind of lineup anchor you build an offense around.
If New York wasn’t serious about retaining him, both sides wouldn’t have gotten this far in negotiations.
New York wants to lock Alonso up ASAP
For a long time, we heard nothing about Pete’s long-term status with the club. It didn’t matter whether Alonso, Eppler, or Cohen was asked about it. They all essentially declined to comment, likely with the aim of keeping everything close to the vest.
This leak makes me feel like the Mets want to put a little pressure on Alonso’s camp to push negotiations forward.
Mets know they have leverage
One would’ve thought the biggest stumbling block to an Alonso extension was money. But since both sides are reportedly in agreement on financials, the Mets have leverage.
If Alonso hits free agency and is still looking for a 10-year deal, it’ll be very, very hard to find. Especially as a 30-year-old, and despite MLB now having the Universal DH. Even if it gets to that point, you’d have to imagine the Mets feel confident about retaining the first baseman.
This bodes well for an agreement this winter
Ragazzo’s report is the most detailed we’ve gotten thus far on extension talks between Alonso and the Mets. And, honestly, I can’t help but feel optimistic about the Polar Bear sticking around in Queens for the foreseeable future.
Finding a middle ground on contract length feels like it’s the easier thing to do in this scenario. Let’s say the Mets are only comfortable going seven or eight guaranteed years (just a guess). They can add on a couple of options with a bunch of stipulations to reach some kind of compromise and get a deal done. And that’s only one thought from what’s surely a laundry list of ideas/alternatives.
It’s obviously way too early to start doing any victory laps at this point. But if this report is accurate, I’d be shocked if we don’t get news about a Mets extension for Alonso sometime this offseason.