MLB insider reveals the contract Mets offered Pete Alonso before walk-year

This reported extension offer could be a blueprint for the kind of offer we see Pete Alonso sign in the 2024 offseason.
May 2, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) during a
May 2, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) during a / John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Pete Alonso's name has been a popular one in the MLB rumor mill since the New York Mets decided to sell several of their veterans at the 2023 trade deadline. Alonso hasn't been traded and all signs indicate that no trade will happen, but with no long-term extension in sight, those rumors have not been fully shut down.

Mets owner Steve Cohen said that the Mets have not and likely will not have any substantial contract extension discussions with Alonso who is set to hit free agency at the end of the 2024 campaign.

Joel Sherman of the NY Post seems to beg to differ, as he reported on MLB Network that there was indeed an offer presented to Alonso before his walk year that Alonso declined.

Mets contract extension offer to Pete Alonso revealed

The terms Sherman is reporting that the Mets offered him were seven years for $158 million. Alonso turns that down, and it sounds like all talks have been shut down ever since. If true, this extension offer makes sense from the Mets, and the rejection also makes sense on Alonso's end.

The Mets offered Alonso a contract that would put him right there with the elite first basemen in the majors. The deal covered his age-37 season and would pay him roughly $22.5 million annually. While that might not sound like much for a player like Alonso who has led the league in home runs and RBI since debuting in 2019 despite playing half his games at Citi Field, that's how first basemen are valued.

The Atlanta Braves gave 27-year-old Matt Olson an eight-year extension worth $168 million. The Los Angeles Dodgers gave 32-year-old Freddie Freeman a six-year deal worth $162 million. Olson received $21 million annually for more years while Freeman got $27 million for fewer years.

Alonso is not as good as Freeman so he should not get $27 million annually, and is not as young as Olson so he should not get eight years. The contract that the Mets reportedly offered him was essentially the sweet spot in the middle. More AAV than Olson and less than Freeman while he got more term than Freeman and less than Olson.

So the contract makes sense from a Mets perspective to offer, and it also makes sense that Alonso wants to see where his value is in free agency.

Alonso is as consistent as they come. He has played in at least 152 games in each of his four full seasons (excluding 2020). He's hit at least 37 home runs and driven in at least 94 runs in each of his four full seasons. He's on pace to eclipse all of those numbers again this season even with his slow start.

Will he ever hit .300? Probably not. Will he ever win a Gold Glove at first base? Almost certainly not. However, Alonso has established himself as arguably the premier power hitter in the sport. Even if he has a down season in 2024 he's going to have a market. He's going to get roughly around what the Mets offered him. The only way that changes is if he has a truly awful season or he explodes and wins an MVP. Chances are, neither will happen.

For Mets fans, it's encouraging to see that Cohen and David Stearns are willing to offer this kind of contract to Alonso even with first basemen not being valued very highly in the modern game. He'll still be available in trade talks if the Mets are out of contention, but Mets fans should feel good about the team's chances of keeping him around if they're willing to go to the levels they reportedly were over the offseason. If Alonso leaves, it'll either be because he didn't want to stay in the first place or some team overpays by a significant margin.