Mets Could Trade 6-Time All-Star to Retain Pete Alonso, Says Writer

Pete Alonso

Getty New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso might finish his final season before free agency with the New York Mets as they opt to deal J.D. Martinez instead

As the New York Mets open up to a disappointing fourth-place standing in the National League East division, it seems like they are heading toward seller status by this year’s trade deadline.

Speculation about which players they might deal has largely landed on Pete Alonso, a three-time All-Star who is earning $20.5 million this year before likely finding a lucrative long-term deal in free agency. But a new projection from Deesha Thosar of Fox Sports sees the team dealing veteran slugger J.D. Martinez instead, ultimately retaining Alonso for this season and possibly beyond.

“Trading for Martinez makes too much sense if the Mets (21-26) can’t crawl up to .500 before July,” Thosar wrote. “In looking at the market, I’m of the mind that Alonso will remain with the Mets through the deadline.”

Trading J.D. Martinez Could Help the New York Mets Rebuild Around Pete Alonso

A potential prospect return for Martinez could be enough to make the Mets feel like they are poised for a mini rebuild without having to relinquish Alonso before the season. And that might put the team in a position to sign Alonso for the long term while gaining some value before Martinez hits free agency after his one-year, $4.5 million deal is up.

Though he might not net the same kind of return as Alonso, Martinez is likely to entice teams. He is a six-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger with a career .287/.350/.523 slash line. Despite signing with the Mets relatively late and beginning his season in the minor leagues, the veteran slugger has been hitting .312/.354/.468 with nine RBI in just 77 at bats so far.

“He’s playing on a one-year deal and has been the most consistent and productive player on the Mets, and that’s despite all the adversity he faced to begin the season after signing with the club in the last week of spring training,” Thosar added. “While he ramped up, he dealt with back pain that delayed his season debut. But he hit the ground running as soon as he slotted into the lineup, batting .312 with an .821 OPS through 22 games. Plus, dealing Martinez wouldn’t provoke the Mets fan base.”

The New York Mets Might See Pete Alonso as Their Franchise Slugger for the Future

Ultimately, a desire to avoid pushback from fans might be what drives the Mets to deal Martinez while retaining Alonso.

Alonso has spent his entire career with the Mets, he holds multiple franchise records and he is a clear fan favorite, as owner Steve Cohen noted in a recent episode of the “Meet At The Apple” podcast. All of that could influence Cohen and executive David Stearns as they look at the near-term and long-term futures of the roster.

“I just don’t see David Stearns potentially ostracizing himself by trading Pete Alonso less than one full season into his tenure as Mets president of baseball operations,” Thosar noted. “Sure, rival executives are champing at the bit to acquire a slugger who is essentially a lock for 40-plus home runs per season. But Alonso means more to the Mets franchise than those execs might think. He is, in many ways, the face of the team, and that’s no small thing in big-market New York City.”

However, it might not be so simple to retain Alonso into the future. He is almost certain to test free agency with an eye toward the largest possible contract. And he’s already rejected a seven-year, $158 million offer from the Mets, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

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