Mets excuse for not extending Pete Alonso is actually playing it smart

Pete Alonso, one of MLB's best power hitters, set to hit free agency in 2024. Will the Mets be able to keep their fan favorite slugger?

Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets
Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

Pete Alonso is one of the best power hitters in MLB today, and it looks like he'll be hitting free agency following the 2024 season. The three-time All-Star has spent his entire five-year career with the New York Mets. Alonso has become a fan favorite in Queens, and they would hate to see him in another uniform.

Mets president of baseball operations, David Stearns, recently suggested that the star first basemen will hit the open market for the first time in his entire career. With Scott Boras representing Alonso, it will likely be hard to pull off a deal midseason. Some recent star names to hit the open market are clients of Boras, such as Cody Bellinger, Blake Snell, and J.D. Martinez. 

As risky as it sounds, the Mets are playing it smart for not extending Alonso yet. He's coming off one of his worst seasons. In 2023, the slugger held a lackluster .217 average. He did finish the season with 46 HRs and 118 RBIs, but his batting average was lower than usual. 

If Alonso has a season like he did in 2022, the Mets will have to gear up to make a large offer. His 2022 campaign was by far his best, where he held a .271 BA, hit 40 HRs, and led the league with 131 RBIs. 

Mets are playing it smart with Pete Alonso, despite first-look reactions

Stearns has indicated throughout the offseason that he values Alonso's power and wants him to be a part of the Mets' future. If the slugger replicates his 2022 season, he will make the case for big money. Steve Cohen owns the Mets, and he's shown he isn't afraid to resign his players to big contracts.

When Brandon Nimmo and Edwin Diaz hit free agency last offseason, he didn't hesitate to lock them up long-term. Diaz became the highest-paid relief pitcher in the history of MLB, inking a five-year deal worth $102 million. Nimmo signed a $162 million contract for eight years. 

As of recent, there's been one fan favorite who left the Mets in free agency. That was Jacob deGrom. As much as fans loved the former back-to-back Cy Young winner, they understood why Cohen held back. The injury concerns were simply too high to bring him back long-term. 

Alonso however, has little to no injury history. Outside of the shortened 2020 season, the star slugger has never played in less than 152 games. Out of his four full seasons, he's hit at least 40 HRs in three of them. The one season Alonso didn't, he hit 37 HRs. 

There is no doubt that Alonso is one of the best power hitters in baseball. If he shows that he is more than just a slugger like he did in 2022, then he will pull in a huge contract. He was not only one of the best power hitters that season, but also was one of the best all-around hitters. 

His 2023 season was great, but he wasn't one of the best hitters in baseball. Alonso was certainly one of the best sluggers last season, but he didn't showcase the ability to be one of the most feared hitters in the game. 

Mets fans would love to see a notification appear on their phone that their three-time All-Star inked a deal to make him a Met for life. However, they shouldn't expect the organization to throw money out the window and overspend. 

Allowing Alonso to hit the open market isn't the worst thing. As mentioned earlier, Cohen has allowed two stars to hit free agency and brought them back. Stearns is playing it smart, as he will now see what other teams think the star is worth. Just because the the slugger will likely be a free agent following the season, doesn't mean the Mets can't make New York his home for the rest of his career. 

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