Iceberg Stands Between Polar Bear Extension & New York Mets
A few weeks back, the New York Mets and first baseman Pete Alonso agreed to a 1-year $14.5 million contract to avoid salary arbitration. Alonso, coming off of a 40 HR and 131 RBI season in 2022, is still under team control until after the 2024 campaign. Mets fans would love to see 'Polar Bear Pete' make his home in Queens for the rest of his career. However, the Amazin's may encounter some icy waters before a contract like that gets done.
According to cbssports.com, in August, Alonso told SNY-TV that the Mets had not approached him "yet" about an extension. "I just want to make the best business decision for my family. And I mean, honestly, the opportunity for that prospect hasn't arisen yet. So right now I'm just playing as well as I can to help this team win." That, the 28-year old has done, with four tremendous seasons for the Mets. What would an extension for Alonso cost owner Steve Cohen? Mets commentator and former MLB GM, Jim Duquette suggested this:
Getting paid $280 million spread over 8 years sounds great to normal people but contracts, like the one Aaron Judge signed, along with looming free-agent stars, like Shohei Ohtani, who have Steve Cohen in their sights, may complicate the issue down the line for both sides, the player and the franchise. However, it doesn't hurt when Alonso's close friend on the team, Jeff McNeil, just signed a $50 million contract extension to stay around for the next 5 years.
“Pete was so happy,” McNeil told nypost.com. “He didn’t know we were in extension talks, so I wanted to surprise him and that was a pretty cool phone call to make.” Does McNeil think his hulking first base buddy will follow along and sign a long term deal with the Mets?
“He is a tremendous teammate and fantastic player,” McNeil said to the media. “I am not sure exactly where he stands on that kind of contract, so I am not sure if he wants to test free agency or where that is. I am just going to leave that up to him and his representatives.” Jeff McNeil was smart to leave his friend's business to the professionals. Long and short, Alonso would be smart to let his market play out, like Aaron Judge. Why couldn't Alonso get $38 million a year from a team for 10-years? Home run hitters can get big contracts and Pete Alonso hits them with the best of them. Just like Aaron Judge did with the Yankees, unless Alonso wants to be a Met for life, which we would all love to see, an extension isn't likely anytime this year.