Why the Mets should extend Pete Alonso immediately

Pete Alonso
Pete Alonso / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The New York Mets have an elite first baseman and his name is Pete Alonso. Alonso is a home run machine, hitting 53 in 2018, 16 in a shortened 2020 season and 37 last year. He's an ideal cleanup hitter, whose career slash line is .256/.346/.542. The only issue is that homers cost a lot in arbitration, and Alonso is looking to get significantly more expensive. In fact, his salary already jumped from less than a million the last few seasons to $7.4 million this season. He'll also hit free agency after the 2024 season. It's time to lock him up long-term.

The New York Mets need Pete Alonso in the middle of the lineup.

Comparable first baseman Matt Olson received 8 years/$168 from the Atlanta Braves. Olson and Alonso are the same age, though Olson is a few months older, and Olson is also a better defender and was closer to free agency, meaning that Alonso should probably be worth less than Olson. Another thing to consider is that bat first first basemen aren't as in high demand as they used to be, despite the fact that Alonso has an elite power bat. All of this points to an extension that should cost a bit less than what Olson received.

How much should the Mets pay Alonso? Based on the contract that the Braves gave Olson, 7 years/$150 million could be a starting point. Matching Olson's contract isn't too bad either, as it's basically $21 million a year, and Alonso is definitely worth that. There is basically no chance that Alonso will be eligible for a longer contract for more money, so if he ends up wanting more money then he's simply not loyal and has too high of an opinion of his own value. The Mets should then consider trading him when he's closer to free agency.

Pete Alonso is an elite slugging first baseman and a perfect clean-up hitter on the Mets. Free agency unfortunately is around the corner for him, so it makes sense to start looking at things long-term. Alonso has upside and can lead the Majors in home runs at any point, so it makes sense to not make Boston's mistakes with their stars, and either lock him up long-term early or be aware that trading him closer to his free agency might make some sense. Pete Alonso at a rate close to Olson's deal would be perfect for the Amazin's.

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