Alonso, 29, is coming off yet another potent year at the plate. His 46 home runs in 2023 were a jump from his 40 long balls a year prior. He has finished each full season of his career with between 37 and 53 homers. His batting line of .217/.318/.504 from last year translated to a wRC+ of 121, indicating he was 21% above league average at the plate. The reviews of his defense have been mixed in his career but he generally posted solid results in 2023. He also managed to steal four bases on the year.
Since Alonso cracked the Opening Day roster in 2019, he now has exactly five years of major league service time. He first qualified for arbitration going into the 2022 season and agreed to a $7.4M salary that year, followed by a $14.5M figure last year. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected Alonso for a raise to $22M but he’ll settle for a figure just beneath that.
Due to the Mets taking a sort of step back in 2024, Alonso’s final year of arbitration before he’s slated for free agency, there has been a lot of speculation about the club either trading him or signing him to a contract extension. To this point, neither has happened. New president of baseball operations David Stearns has repeatedly stated that he expects Alonso to be the club’s starting first baseman this year and also spoke this week about the difficulties of signing a player to an extension when they are this close to free agency.
Alonso’s fate would appear to be in the hands of the club. If the Mets falter and are out of contention by the deadline, he will be a top trade candidate in rumors this summer. If they remain in contention, perhaps he will stick with the club through the year and receive a qualifying offer at season’s end. The latter scenario wouldn’t be a guarantee that he would be destined to join another club. The Mets re-signed Brandon Nimmo after he reached free agency and also reached a new deal with Edwin Díaz just as he was about to hit the open market.