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Mets: It’s ridiculously early to consider extending Pete Alonso

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 28: Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets hits a single for his first MLB hit in the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals on Opening Day at Nationals Park on March 28, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 28: Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets hits a single for his first MLB hit in the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals on Opening Day at Nationals Park on March 28, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
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New York Mets fans want nothing but the best for first baseman Pete Alonso. However, it’s far too early to even consider an extension for the big man.

With Jacob deGrom jersey remaining current for a few more years, many New York Mets fans have turned their attention toward locking up other beloved members of the roster for a few more years. One of the potential candidates I have seen mention is Pete Alonso. The power-hitting yet incredibly green first baseman is someone we would all live to thrive in Queens. He’s also not the type of player I’m ready to lock-up long term quite yet.

When discussing financials in baseball, let’s always remember it’s not our money. An extension for Alonso wouldn’t raise ticket prices, double the cost of a hot dog, or add a toll to the 7-line. At its worst, buying out his first year of free agency this quickly would only mean the Mets may end up overpaying for a guy several years from now and use it as an excuse to avoid spending elsewhere.

In a similar argument, Alonso may also settle for less than he’s worth in the future. There’s no telling how high he reaches in his prime. Someone is bound to lose—player or team.

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As baseball fans, these arguments always deserve an asterisk stating it’s how we would handle the situation in the general manager’s chair. This is how I’m approaching the idea of buying out his arbitration years and beyond.

In two years, if Alonso is hitting well and popping home runs, it’s time to start thinking about a longer commitment. Other than generational talent, it’s wise to wait until the arbitration years to take this into consideration. Just as some players bloom late, others bloom early and go on their decline before reaching 30. I don’t know which path Alonso’s career will take. Because of this point, I’m not ready to start thinking about paying him the big dollars until he does a lot more. He’s not going anywhere. Why rush a deal?

Young first basemen are also, at least to me, unattractive to sign too soon. If they were an elite defender, maybe I would look at it differently. Alonso is not and because of this, he’s a little less valuable in seven years. There’s nowhere to move him, other than the DH spot. Though the National League may adopt it by then, like an Alonso extension, it’s too soon.

Early extensions for young players who haven’t even played a big league game are dangerous. The best example of this is the one handed to Jon Singleton by the Houston Astros before even playing a big league game. Scott Kingery of the Philadephia Phillies and Eloy Jimenez of the Chicago White Sox received extensions of their own more recently, but I view them differently. Kingery can play multiple positions and Jimenez, an outfielder, has been one of the game’s top 10 prospects for several years. They have more talents than just hitting home runs; which Singleton apparently did not.

Alonso has impressed me plenty in the early part of the season. He deserves the praise and raise for setting baseballs ablaze. This team does, however, need to take advantage of those first few years when he can get underpaid. We know this ownership isn’t going to wake up like Scrooge on Christmas Morning and buy a turkey for the fans.

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I do hope Alonso thrives and I do wish to see him play for the Mets beyond the six years of control they currently have. I’ll worry about that later. Right now, I’m focused on enjoying every 400 foot home run he gives the team in 2019.

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