New York Mets fans have been clamoring for extensions for all-stars Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil. Both are deserving, but I'm not so sure both will be extended.
Why the Mets are more likely to extend Pete Alonso than Jeff McNeil
The Mets and Pete Alonso agreed to a one-year $14.5 million dollar deal to avoid arbitration. The Mets and Jeff McNeil did not agree on a deal and could be headed to arbitration. That's the first of many reasons the Mets are more likely to extend Alonso over McNeil.
The Mets have had two faces of the franchise in the last decade. David Wright was the face of this franchise for the majority of his career until he ultimately retired after playing his final game in 2018. Jacob deGrom took over that spot and was a player fans revered until he left for Texas. Now, that spot is Pete Alonso's to hold onto.
Alonso has a chance to be a career Met and I believe that's something Steve Cohen, Billy Eppler, and Pete Alonso all want. He could potentially be the next captain with how good of a leader he is, and he could have his number next to the likes of Seaver and Piazza among others.
McNeil can be a career Met too, but he's nowhere near the legend Pete Alonso is among Mets fans. Great player, but not as great as Pete.
With an extension signed, Pete Alonso would shatter records set by Mets legends. Alonso already has the single-season home run and RBI records with 53 and 131 respectively. He's already in the top 40 in virtually every offensive category including seventh in home runs and 17th in RBI. He would be at the top of virtually every category alongside David Wright in Mets history. Alonso seems to cherish the spotlight and would want nothing more than to be a lifelong Met and Mets fans cherish him.
Alonso is 28 years old while McNeil is 30. Both players have one more season after this of arbitration, so McNeil will be 31 when he hits free agency while Alonso will be 29. When discussing a long-term extension, it's easier to give that to the younger player.
Alonso has been only improving since he came up in 2019. He hasn't hit 53 home runs since his rookie season but is as complete of a player as he's ever been. He's taken dramatic leaps defensively and is a more patient, consistent hitter at the plate. McNeil is great too, but he's had his inconsistencies like his rough 2021. Alonso is a player you can count on hitting 35+ home runs and driving in 90+ runs every year.
The Mets have replacements for Jeff McNeil if he were to depart in free agency while they'd be lost without Alonso. The Mets have middle infield prospects like Ronny Mauricio and Jett Williams moving up the ranks. The Mets also have Luis Guillorme as an option to play second base.
Jeff McNeil is a remarkable player who the Mets would have trouble replacing because of his unique skillset but Alonso's power is harder to replace. The Mets are power-starved right now and would be lost without him. Alonso being the face of the franchise, and the better player of the two helps also. Both players are great, and I'd love to see them both in orange and blue for a long time. Alonso is better, and is more likely to get extended than Jeff McNeil is.