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The New York Mets put All-Star first baseman Pete Alonso on the market but knew by “midday” on August 1 he wouldn’t be traded, according to the New York Post‘s Jon Heyman.
That’s because “sources say the price was extremely high, as their heart probably wasn’t in it,” Heyman wrote.
Alonso is on a one-year, $14.5 million deal and will enter his final year of arbitration next season before becoming a free agent in 2025. Through 100 games, he is slashing .221/.314/.507 with 31 home runs.
After the Mets’ deadline sale led to the departures of core players including Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Tommy Pham, manager Steve Cohen called Alonso “an integral part of the Mets,” per NorthJersey.com’s Andrew Tredinnick.
In other deadline deals, including the trades that sent Scherzer to the Texas Rangers and Verlander to the Houston Astros, the Mets sent over $70 million to their trade partners in order cover parts of the outgoing pitchers’ salaries.
It was an expensive sale from the most expensive team in MLB history.
That means it’s fair to say that the New York club wasn’t afraid of retaining part of Alonso’s promised $14.5 million salary. The “extremely high” asking price likely means they were asking for highly-ranked prospects, apparently more than other teams were willing to give, coming the other way.
The Mets’ “heart” not being in the trade could be due to them seeing Alonso as a piece the team can build around, alongside Brandon Nimmo, as they try to get back on track toward the playoffs in 2024.
When talking about the Mets’ future with Alonso, Cohen referenced the team’s negotiations with Nimmo, who entered free agency last fall after seven seasons with the Mets but ended up rejoining the team on an eight-year, $162 million deal.
“(Alonso’s) still with us for another year,” Cohen said. “We want to work things out. Even with Brandon, we worked things out in free agency. Hopefully we’ll get a few shots at the apple and try to figure it out.”
After a 9-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals Thursday, the Mets, having already waved the proverbial white flag, are 50-58 on the season and 7.5 games back from an NL Wild Card spot.