HomeMLB RumorsMets Offered Pete Alonso Seven-Year, $158MM Extension Last Summer

Mets Offered Pete Alonso Seven-Year, $158MM Extension Last Summer

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After the Mets’ record-setting spending failed to bring them even a winning record heading into late July of last season, the team instead generated headlines by selling instead of buying, moving Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and several others in a variety of deals prior to the trade deadline.  Since the Mets were reportedly open to considering all options on shorter-term talent, the club even had some discussions about moving Pete Alonso, who is a free agent this coming offseason.  The Brewers and Cubs were among the teams that at least checked in on Alonso’s status, but obviously no deal was struck, and the Polar Bear remains in a Mets uniform to this very day.

The trade explorations came after, however, the Mets made an attempt to lock Alonso up for the remainder of the decade.  Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Mets offered Alonso a seven-year, $158MM extension last June, which would’ve kept him in Queens through his age 29-35 seasons.  According to Sherman, “the sides never got close to a deal,” which is why the Mets then shifted to at least testing the waters to see what Alonso might net on the trade market.

The length and amount of the Mets’ offer exactly matches the final seven years of Matt Olson’s extension with the Braves, signed back in March 2022.  Olson was two years away from free agency at the time of that long-term deal, and the final dollar figure was an eight-year pact worth $168MM in guaranteed money, plus the Braves hold a $20MM club option for the 2030 season.  New York’s offer to Alonso apparently didn’t involve a club option, but it otherwise mirrored Olson’s deal minus the $15MM Olson earned in 2022 (the first year of the extension).  Freddie Freeman’s six-year, $162MM contract with the Dodgers was another comp, as the Mets’ offer gave Alonso more actual money than Freeman due to the deferrals involved in the L.A. first baseman’s contract.

Olson and Freeman were obvious benchmarks for Alonso as fellow star first basemen, and reports from last November suggested that Alonso wants a “much bigger” contract than either of those two deals.  In the least surprising news possible, Alonso’s agent Scott Boras feels the same way, as Boras told Sherman that Alonso’s market stands apart from other recent major first baseman contracts due to Alonso’s age (he’ll be 30 on Opening Day 2025) and because the dynamics of extensions and free agent deals differ.

The market for consistent 40-homer, durable, infield-capable, true middle-of-the-lineup sluggers is the question,” Boras said.  “Note there are none available in free agency and none coming [in the next few years].  Plus, he’s New York proven, which is an unanswered question for many others — not Pete.  It’s elite-level durability and production at a prime age, which is simply something most MLB teams do not possess.  They will covet the opportunity to have free-agent access to such talent.”

It is worth noting that Alonso was a client of Apex Sports when he and the Mets were negotiating that extension, and Alonso then changed representation to the Boras Corporation after the season.  With a few notable exceptions over the years, Boras clients generally end up heading to the open market rather than signing a contract extension, so it would count as a big surprise if Alonso and the Mets agreed to a new deal this close to Alonso’s arrival on the open market.

Alonso burst onto the scene with a 53-homer season in 2019, earning both NL Rookie of the Year honors and the first of three career All-Star berths (and the first of two Home Run Derby crowns during All-Star festivities).  Naturally this made Alonso an instant star in New York, and he has kept up the power by hitting 202 homers and slashing .249/.340/.524 over his career.  Those 202 homers is the most of any player since the start of the 2019 campaign.

This season has largely been more of the same, as Alonso has hit .226/.307/.458 with 10 homers in his first 189 plate appearances of 2024.  However, Alonso is now in his second consecutive season with a below-average hard-hit ball rate, even if his barrel rate remains outstanding.  Overall, Alonso is still mashing the ball when he makes premium contact, but is having trouble with anything less than a barrel, giving how his batting averages have declined — a .261 average in his first four seasons but only .219 since.  Beyond these numbers, teams could also have the usual concerns attached to giving any first-base only player a big guaranteed deal into his 30’s, and beyond the bat, Alonso’s defense is considered average at best.

Leaving $158MM on the table could loom large for Alonso should he hit an extended slump that drags down his overall production, or if he gets injured.  (Though Alonso has been very durable over his career, with only two minimal trips to the injured list.)  There is also the possibility that this winter’s free agent market could somewhat resemble the staid proceedings of this past offseason, when several top free agents — including several Boras clients — had to settle for smaller deals than expected.  If any of Alonso’s red flags become more glaring over the course of the 2024 campaign, teams might first attempt to see if they can wait out the market to see if Alonso could be had for the kind of short-term, opt-out heavy contracts signed by the “Boras Four” this past winter.

On the other hand, a standard Alonso type of season should provide a very nice platform, and the Polar Bear ranked fourth in MLB’s most recent Power Rankings of the 2024-25 free agent class.  The first baseman’s chances of scoring a deal closer to $200MM than $158MM are also helped by the fact that Mets owner Steve Cohen has expressed his hope that Alonso will remain with the team over the long term, and Cohen hasn’t been shy about spending big to obtain his preferred targets.  President of baseball operations David Stearns will obviously have a way in whatever direction the Mets take with pursuing Alonso, but if Cohen is willing to outbid the market for a particular fan favorite, Alonso might have a particular edge that other free agents don’t, depending on how aggressive the Mets will be on players beyond Alonso.

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