3 Mets players who had great performances in their free agent season

Pete Alonso is not the first time we crossed our fingers heading into free agency.

New York Mets v Florida Marlins
New York Mets v Florida Marlins / Ronald C. Modra/GettyImages
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The New York Mets will have a decision to make with their most valuable player come free agency in November. Now represented by Scott Boras, first baseman Pete Alonso is seeking to cash in on his all-star resume. After failing to negotiate a contract extension this past offseason, Steve Cohen and David Stearns may have to overpay the 29-year-old to remain a career-long Met. Regardless of the dollar figure, the team has put themselves in a conundrum with their best homegrown position player since David Wright.

There has always been an expectation among baseball fans that players perform players outperform expectations in the final year of their contracts. This has been true in some cases like Aaron Judge hitting 62 home runs in 2022. However, there have been star players who underperform and still get paid handsomely like Bryce Harper hitting for a near career-low .249 batting average in 2018. Regardless, the Mets are not immune to reaping the benefits of a player who wants a long-term contract the following offseason.

1. Jose Reyes 2011

The Mets were plucked into a financial corner heading into the 2011 season. The Wilpons were caught up in the Bernie Madoff scandal, costing ownership millions in liabilities. The team had also just experienced an overhaul with Sandy Alderson becoming general manager and Terry Collins leading the bench. Additionally, the payroll had many bloated contracts of declining talents like Jason Bay and Johan Santana.

Given this scenario, the Mets were facing a decision when it came to their two franchise cornerstones: David Wright and Jose Reyes. Each superstar signed a contract extension in 2006 with Wright's set to expire in 2012 while Reyes was a pending free agent in 2011. The Wilpons were not prepared to pay both while Alderson was still trying to field a competitive ballclub while he rebuilt the farm system.

In summary, the Mets kept both Wright and Reyes for the entire 2011 season. By all measures, Reyes could not have made the Wilpons' decision to let him sign with the Miami Marlins any more difficult. He won the National League batting title hitting .337 with 16 triples and 101 runs scored. While his 39 stolen bases paled in comparison to his days at Shea Stadium, Reyes reminded everyone he was still the best leadoff hitter in baseball. Unfortunately, the Mets made it clear they were not going to pay both franchise icons as Reyes signed a 6-year contract worth $106 million to play in South Florida.