An uncertain future with Pete Alonso and the Mets

There are so many questions surrounding a complicated pending star free agent.
Pete Alonso's impending free agency has been a heavy topic for conversation this season around baseball.
Pete Alonso's impending free agency has been a heavy topic for conversation this season around baseball. / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

There is no doubt that baseball fans are already looking ahead to the offseason where star first baseman Pete Alonso is a free agent at the end of the season. The New York Mets are attempting to perfect a delicate balance between keeping a popular homegrown player on the team to sell tickets while continuing to build for the future.

Alonso, who will be 30 in December, reportedly turned down a 7-year, $158 million extension this past offseason that would make him a Met for life. It would have made him the third highest paid full-time first baseman by average annual value among players under contract through 2025, behind the Dodgers' Freddie Freeman, and the Phillies' Bryce Harper (who moved to first base full time recently). He and his agent Scott Boras predictably rejected it.

It makes fans wonder if Alonso will even finish the 2024 season in a Mets uniform. With the Mets proving themselves to be an average team and likely the third best team in their own division, should the Mets entertain offers for a team to acquire him as a rental piece? I think they must.

New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso should be traded because of uncertainty in his performance and his business dealings.

Alonso's overall performance has been a problem in him securing long term job security. Last year, while he hit 46 home runs, he hit just .217 for the season and hit just .205 on balls in play. So far in 2024, he has had marginal improvements at best. Alonso may very well hit 40 home runs again, but his value is dependent on him driving in runs in big situations, and he has not done that enough. He is currently in a big slump, and it looks like a mechanical adjustment is needed to his swing.

But the name recognition alone and the power potential (which plays a big role in the postseason) is what makes Alonso valuable to contenders. Any contending team that needs a game-changing first baseman (or designated hitter) need should entertain a trade as well. The returns for Alonso should be solid and they would make an already improving farm system even better.

This Mets team appears headed to be an average ballclub, with two teams that have been significantly better so far in their own division (the surging Phillies and the steady Braves), and have had hitting issues without their young star catcher, Francisco Alvarez, for teams to worry about. Alvarez should be out for at least another month, in which the Mets could be even further behind in the standings.

Pete Alonso's current agent is Scott Boras, who had himself a miserable offseason in getting players long term contracts worth more than $100 million. The discussions throughout spring training were when four of the Boras clients, better known as the "Boras Four" would sign and where. They were Cody Bellinger, Matt Chapman, Blake Snell, and Jordan Montgomery. None of them agreed to contracts with teams until at least after spring training games began.

Among the Boras Four, only Bellinger met expectations during the first quarter of the '24 campaign. Boras would probably play a game of chicken with the Mets, like he did the rest of baseball regarding his clients, while using them as leverage to get other teams to outbid Steve Cohen. By the way, Montgomery, who officially signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks just after Opening Day, fired Boras just two weeks into the season.

Unless Alonso dumps him too, which appears unlikely, the Mets risk the chicken game without knowing who their first baseman would be next year. Mark Vientos, who is playing really well in Triple-A, would be the best internal option, which perhaps might unlock the star potential the Mets think he can be, and in turn be a disguised blessing.