Mets: Weighing the pros and cons of an early Pete Alonso contract extension

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JUPITER, FLORIDA – MARCH 09: Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets in action against the Miami Marlins during a Grapefruit League spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium on March 09, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

We weigh the pros and cons of the New York Mets signing Pete Alonso to an early contract extension.

The early extension is becoming more popular in Major League Baseball. Unless of course, you’re talking about the New York Mets. Only on rare occasions will you find this organization signing a player earlier than they have to. In the case of slugger Pete Alonso, they may have enough reasons to ponder the pros and cons of a deal like that.

Alonso did a lot of great things for the Mets in 2019 both on and off the field. His 53 home runs set a new standard for Mets and rookies in general. His leadership put him in a position to potentially become the next captain of the franchise.

No matter what he does, Alonso seems to do it right. An extension, while still possibly a few years too early, feels very possible at some point for the Polar Bear.

As with anything, there are pros and cons to any decision. What are they when it comes to an early long-term relationship locked in with Alonso?

Pros of extending Pete Alonso early

When talking about baseball contracts, the best deals are the ones the team and player benefit from. Extensions can help out both parties really well. Alonso gets some money early and the Mets potentially get him for cheaper than he’s actually worth down the line. That is, of course, if he continues to play well.

Alonso won’t reach free agency until after the 2024 season. It’s a long time in the future. By then, Alex Rodriguez may be sick of owning the team or maybe we’re discussing his Hall of Fame candidacy as an owner.

The biggest benefit of an early extension with Alonso is that the Mets can sign him up for a few more years. Alonso is set to become a free agent ahead of his age 30 season which is about par for the course. He’ll easily have an opportunity to give them two or three dominant years even into his early 30s before the inevitable decline occurs.

Sluggers like Alonso can age poorly just as much as they can remain steady well into their 30s. Alonso showed no fragility in his rookie season, playing in 161 games for the Mets. Time will tell if he can continue to stay as healthy in the future.

Awarding Alonso with an early extension would say a lot about the Mets. It’s a change of pace the fans are hoping to see. It also puts faith in one of its young stars—something the front office took too long to do with Jacob deGrom before he finally got his extension.

A long-term deal with Alonso, which would buy out at least a year or two of his future free agency, may not be the best financial decision. However, for the sake of precedence-setting, it’s a smart move.

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