Just days after the New York Mets extended the contract of one young core player, Jeff McNeil, all the attention has now turned to Pete Alonso.
The Mets slugger is coming off a huge year in which he led the National League in RBIs and made his second All-Star game. Alonso just turned 28 in December and, as a second-round draft pick of the Mets in 2016, is now heading into year five with the club at the major league level.
For starters, Alonso has consistently been available. He has played at least 152 games in three years (57 in shortened 2020 season). In the three 162-game seasons Alonso has had, he has hit 37, 40, and 53 home runs. Twice, he has gone well over 100 runs batted in with 120 and 131. Over his four-year career, Alonso has a .884 OPS. In three of his four seasons, he has batted .260 or better (.261 career). Alonso showed impressive growth, hitting for contact in 2022, finishing with a .271 batting average that in early August was as high as .283.
Knowing Alonso’s everyday reliability, youth, power, improvement as a contact hitter and defensively, it has led to much speculation on just how expensive his next contract be. At the moment, for 2023, Alonso does have a $14.5 million salary, as he and the Mets were able to meet in the middle and avoid arbitration recently. A new contract can still be ironed out, and one MLB Network reporter shared his prediction for what it could look like.
Jon Morosi, MLB Network reporter, stated on the channel last night that he believes a contract extension for the Mets and Alonso will be in the eight-year, $200 million ballpark. The average annual salary of that deal would be $25 million. Perhaps, Alonso wants a little bit more, but certainly a logical proposal here.
Starting with the duration of this new contract for Alonso, it is widely anticipated to be nearly a decade long. As mentioned in the introduction, age is on Alonso’s side, having just turned 28 in early December. A second contract that pushes anywhere near a decade keeps Alonso in Queens into at least his mid-30s.
From there, as just stated above, the average annual salary could range anywhere from $25 to possibly up to $30 million. Certainly, with his production throughout his first four years, something that Alonso is well-worth.
When looking across the league at some of the other top contracts to help project this deal for the Mets, there are a few to monitor. Starting at Alonso’s position, first base, the highest AAV currently per Spotrac is Freddie Freeman ($27 million), which he just signed last year and takes him through his age 37 season. That is just followed by Paul Goldschmidt ($26 million). It then drops to Joey Votto’s $22.5 million per year. So, the proposed $25 million by Morosi above is a great starting point for the Mets on a positional basis with Alonso.
Then, looking at some of the biggest contracts signed over the last few months this offseason, quite a few landed in the $25 to $30 million a year range. The extension Rafael Devers signed was one to go just beyond $30 million ($31.35 million AAV). Trea Turner, just a year older than Alonso, got a whopping 11 years with an average annual salary of $27.3 million.
The final few to make note of are Xander Bogaerts, Dansby Swanson, and the deals the Atlanta Braves recently agreed to with Austin Riley and Matt Olson. Bogaerts, who is 30, got an 11-year deal with an AAV of $25.5 million. Swanson is the same age as Alonso and got seven years with $25.3 million on average. The reason the Mets may look to start at $25 million at hold firm in that range is because of the AAV’s Riley ($21.2 million) and Olson ($21 million) just got. Both players did get at least eight years on their deal.
In the end, the length of this contract will be at least seven to eight years, making Alonso a Met into his later mid-30 years. At most, it seems like 10 years would be the longest possible duration on this new contract. The final part to work through will be the total value. Is Alonso looking for something in the $200 million range or closer to $250, near the amount Bogaerts received ($280 million)? Which would then, of course, signal a nine or ten-year contract. All in all, the Mets and Alonso seem very much committed for the long term, and it may take some time, but definitely expect a deal to be reached at some point in the future.