Trade Proposal Sends 3-Time All-Star Slugger to Cubs Before Opening Day

Pete Alonso

Getty Pete Alonso

With free agency just a season away for slugger Pete Alonso, the New York Mets are already fielding questions about the possibility of a trade by the midseason deadline. As one of the best first basemen in MLB and a powerhouse at the plate, the Mets would almost certainly garner a hefty package in return for Alonso, and if they’re willing to move him sooner rather than later, the Chicago Cubs would likely jump at the opportunity.

On February 29, ClutchPoints’ Joey Mistretta projected that in order to get Alonso, the Cubs could put together a trade package of recently-acquired infielder Michael Busch, right-handed pitcher Cade Horton, and left-handed pitcher Jordan Wicks.

  • Cubs receive: Pete Alonso (1B)
  • Mets receive: Cade Horton (RHP), Michael Busch (INF), Jordan Wicks (LHP)

In 2023 with the Mets, Alonso slashed .217/.318/.504 with 46 home runs, the third-most in MLB only behind Matt Olson and Kyle Schwarber. It was his second consecutive season recording over 40 home runs and 100 RBIs, and the third All-Star selection of his five-season MLB career.

The possibility of Alonso being available for trade has already resulted in numerous links to teams, with the San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays quickly emerging potential landing spots. Still, the Cubs definitely shouldn’t be discounted.

Acquiring Alonso Would Allow Bellinger to Be the Cubs’ Everyday Center Fielder

After a long and drawn out free agency saga, the Cubs finally re-signed two-time All-Star Cody Bellinger to a three-year, $80 million deal on February 27. The move looked to lock in Chicago’s infield roster for Opening Day, with the team planning to split Bellinger’s time between first base and the outfield, utilizing newly-added Busch at first, Nico Hoerner at second, Dansby Swanson at shortstop, and Christopher Morel at third.

The Cubs have depth around their infield, too, since both Patrick Wisdom and Nick Madrigal can play third base (as they did in 2023) or first.

So, considering the team doesn’t need a first baseman, why would the Cubs trade for Pete Alonso? Because they could desperately use Bellinger as an everyday center fielder, and signing Alonso would allow them to make that move without having to pin their hopes on relatively-untested Busch. Alonso could immediately step in as Chicago’s everyday first baseman and if the team keeps Busch (in Mistretta’s proposal, he would go to the Mets as part of the trade), he would be an very strong infield backup, especially as the team takes a chance on Morel at third.

After missing out on a playoff berth last season, the Cubs are looking to fight their way into contention in 2024. Adding another reliable slugger to close up any weak spots in both their batting lineup and defense would be a very smart move.

Will the Mets Trade Alonso Before the Deadline?

Having been selected by New York in the second round of the 2016 MLB draft and making his major-league debut with the team in 2019, Alonso told the Associated Press on February 17 that he has always expected to spend his entire career with the Mets.

“I love it here,” Alonso said. “I definitely have envisioned me being a lifelong Met, that’s something I’ve definitely thought about. I love New York, it’s a really special place for my family and I … But I can’t predict the future. For me, I just want to focus on this season and be the best person I can be.”

This season with the Mets, Alonso will make $20.5 million. Once he hits free agency, he’s expected to make a lot more than that, and there’s unlikely to be a shortage of teams willing to pay him. Spotrac projects Alonso will land a nine-year, $291 million deal after 2024, placing the first baseman’s AAV at an impressive $32.9 million.

With free agency looming and a high chance of another team swooping in to outbid the Mets next offseason, New York would be smart to consider trading Alonso before he walks away and they’re left with nothing. Still, Mets’ owner Steve Cohen hopes Alonso will have such an incredible season that he’ll have no choice but to extend him on a big contract, regardless of other teams’ interest.

“He’s an important part of our team today and hopefully in the future,” Cohen said in a preview of the team’s new podcast on February 23. “We know the fans feel strongly about him, and I’m not tone-deaf. I totally understand the fans’ love of Pete. I hope he hits 55 home runs and makes it so difficult on me in free agency. I would call that a great outcome.”

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