The word “punt” has been in the vernacular of New York Mets fans plenty this offseason. First brought to us by Max Scherzer, the notion of the Mets attempting to play out the 2024 season without the goal of winning came to the forefront of conversation.
The ball club has certainly taken a step back in terms of the talent they’ve added this winter. They didn’t enter this shootout guns-a-blazin’. They’ve moved more stealthily while trying to get better without actually having much of an effect at all on what the roster will look like in 2025.
If the Mets actually were punting, they would have traded any of these five players already.
1) Pete Alonso
Allow enough baseball chatter into your life and you’re bound to read or hear someone suggest the Mets could still trade Pete Alonso. Not a chance. There is no way they sell us a roster without Pete Alonso in addition to not signing a legitimate DH. Unless David Stearns is the most super villain to ever step foot in the front office, Alonso is going to be there on Opening Day. Otherwise Stearns will have more than egg on his face for saying he expects Alonso will be the team’s Opening Day first baseman. He’ll have a couple of lemon meringue pies tossed at him in St. Lucie, too.
Despite the chitter chatter, Alonso is staying put. It’s the ultimate sign of the Mets hoping to at least try to compete in 2024. Without him, the lineup is beyond punting. It’s handing off the ball to a defensive lineman.
There is no scenario where trading Alonso now could possibly make sense for the Mets. They’re committed to their players under contract through 2024. Fortunately, this includes the big guy hitting fourth.