Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Mets’ Pete Alonso hires Scott Boras as agent with free agency looming, New York future uncertain, per report

With free agency only one year away, New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso has hired agent Scott Boras, reports the New York Post. Boras is of course the game’s premier representative with a long history of securing his clients top dollar. Alonso’s future is the biggest question facing new president of baseball operations David Stearns.

Here’s what Stearns said about Alonso at his introductory press conference earlier this week:

“I think the entire package weighs into it. Pete is a great player, he is also good in the clubhouse, and he is also home grown. All of that matters.

“I know over the summer there was some trade speculation, and look I’ll just say I expect Pete to be the Opening Day first baseman next year. Pete’s an important member of this team, he’s an important member of this organization, and I think we’re really fortunate to have him.”

Boras prefers to take his best clients out into free agency but, ultimately, the player is in charge, and several Boras clients have signed extensions to skip free agency, including Jose Altuve, Xander Bogaerts, and Stephen Strasburg. The Bogaerts and Strasburg contracts had opt out clauses, which they later used to secure larger contracts.

The Mets and Alonso have had some extension talks, though they are reportedly far apart, and his name did pop up in rumors at the trade deadline. He was connected to the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers, in particular. Those two clubs could again show interest this offseason. The San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners are on-paper fits as well.

As good as Alonso is — and he is very good — righty hitting first basemen without much defensive or baserunning value typically don’t get record contracts. He’s a $100 million player, easily, though Alonso and Boras might have a hard time finding $200 million, or even $175 million. That said, Mets owner Steve Cohen can afford any price, and may want to make Alonso a career Met.

Freddie Freeman’s six-year, $162 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers figures to be a benchmark for Alonso, though Freeman is the better player, and that contract was short of his initial asks. Boras negotiated massive contracts for franchise first basemen Prince Fielder (nine years and $214 million) and Mark Teixeira (eight years and $180 million) more than a decade ago.

Alonso, 29 in December, slugged 46 home runs this season, though his batting line slipped to .217/.318/.504. His 192 career home runs are fourth in franchise history and Darryl Strawberry’s team record of 252 homers is well within reach. Alonso earned $14.5 million in 2023 and his salary should exceed $20 million through arbitration in 2024.

Cohen and the Mets recently signed Boras clients Max Scherzer and Brandon Nimmo to large contracts, and they also agreed to a deal with Carlos Correa before backing out over medical concerns. Correa is also a Boras client.

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