Proposed Pete Alonso trade deadline deal with the Cubs headlined by an unappealing player in return

The Mets won't benefit from adding this player in a Pete Alonso trade.
New York Mets v Miami Marlins
New York Mets v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

Dear members of congress, can we put a moratorium on Pete Alonso trade rumors? The regular season started and this blasphemous talk of the New York Mets failing to contend in 2024 is shortsighted. After what we witnessed in last year’s playoff race with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins squeaking in and the former going to the World Series, every team trying to get better deserves to be in the conversation for the playoffs at the moment. Until the brakes start squealing, there is no need to take the car into the repair shop.

Things move too slowly in Washington for this to happen. So, we bite our lips and march on as these trade discussions continue. And for some reason, they always go back to the Chicago Cubs.

FanSided’s Curt Bishop recently put together a preview of the beginnings of an Alonso to the Cubs trade taking place this summer. The headliner is power hitting first base prospect Matt Mervis. While on the service a match for the Mets to replace the first base slugger of their own, it’s about as unappealing of a trade piece to pick up as it gets.

The Mets shouldn’t even consider Matt Mervis in a trade for Pete Alonso

The Cubs are actually well-stocked with first base prospects. Along with Mervis, as Bishop notes, they have Michael Busch who was picked up from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Each could just as easily become one of those Four-A players who mashes in Triple-A and fails to ever find consistent success in the majors. To put it another way: Mark Vientos without the ability to play some third base.

Bishop’s trade would also include “some top 10 prospects” which doesn’t really give much of an indication of how good or bad this trade would be for the Mets. The vagueness makes it impossible to grade this mock trade or dissect much further other than to dismiss the addition of Mervis or even Busch onto the Mets roster.

Mervis turns 26 in mid-April and Busch blew out the same number of candles back in November. Possible late bloomers, it’s hard to feel all that intrigued about two first basemen this far behind Alonso in their development. Alonso’s age 26 season was in 2021. The Mets aren’t picking up some sort of a diamond in the rough with either.

The Mets have to leave the door open for other options at first base

Considering the Mets have Ryan Clifford in the minors not ready to turn 21 until July, we find a solution in two or three years with him at first base if Alonso is no longer around. While Clifford does play the corner outfield, the Mets have Brandon Nimmo locked up and Drew Gilbert destined to play the other corner spot anyway. Clifford is destined to become a first baseman if he remains with the Mets.

What’s more, the acquisition of Mervis, Busch, or any other first baseman in a trade for Alonso explicitly eliminates any chance at a reunion with the Mets for the Polar Bear after he is dealt. This is something the Mets will want to leave open. He might not be their Plan-A next offseason, but familiarity, popularity, and talent should leave them open to exploring the trade and re-sign scenario every fan dreams of seeing happen whenever a favorite is dealt at the deadline. Miss on Juan Soto, pivot back to Alonso.

One final point: are the Cubs all that much more likely to compete for a postseason berth than the Mets? Their offseason improvements include Shota Imanaga and a whole lot of nothing else. They’re counting on players like Cody Bellinger to not fall off a cliff and others to show improvement. The starting rotation isn’t even all that great with an aging Kyle Hendricks still around, too. Still a team coming out of their most recent rebuild, it would be just as likely for the Cubs to send the Mets major league pieces in late July and not the other way around. All they have going for them is a realistic shot at an NL Central crown in a weak division. The likelier outcome: both teams are selling.

If the Mets do end up trading Alonso, acquire players who play a premium position. Pitching and low level minor leaguers of the Marco Vargas ilk are more befitting of what this organization will seek. We can accept that. A first baseman on the other side of 26 yet to establish himself in the majors is too little.