Breaking News: Pete Alonso He’s out

Pete Alonso flipped his car three times on Sunday, say he's lucky -

The New York Mets have publicly admitted they’d like to keep first baseman Pete Alonso in Queens for the foreseeable future. However, it looks like the Scott Boras client is headed to free agency in November, where anything can happen. Could the Chicago Cubs sneak in and swipe the three-time All-Star slugger away from the Amazins?

It’s certainly a possibility. When listing top free-agent landing spots for Alonso next winter, Bleacher Report’s Zachary D. Rymer ranked the Cubs as his second-best fit.

“Having potentially $30.5 million worth of salaries for Kyle Hendricks, Drew Smyly and Yan Gomes coming off the books next winter would only help the Cubs’ cause if they do go after Alonso,” Rymer said. “As such, the only thing keeping them from the No. 1 spot on this list is the likelihood that he’ll ultimately choose not to move.”

While right-handed hitting first basemen aren’t typically seen as a top-of-the-market talent, Alonso is one of the game’s premier power hitters. His 192 home runs since 2019 are the most in baseball. He’s also produced three different seasons of 40-plus homers.

With an annual market value of $32.9 million via Spotrac, Alonso is projected for a nine-year, $296 million deal.

The Cubs Have Been Linked to Alonso for a While

New York entered 2023 with the most expensive MLB team ever assembled. Injuries and underperformance led to disappointment and being a seller at the trade deadline. Although he didn’t get dealt, Alonso still found his name churning through the trade rumor mill. He was a popular topic among National League Central teams. Both the Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers had inquired about him, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Those rumors once again ramped up at the start of the offseason. During his introductory press conference, Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns said he expected Alonso to be the team’s Opening Day first baseman in 2024. That didn’t stop whispers from the Windy City about a potential pursuit of the right-handed slugger, though.

Bruce Levine of 670 The Score fueled them with an October 2 appearance on Hit & Run with Matt Spiegel.

“The mumbling out there is the Cubs are going to do everything they can to trade for Pete Alonso from the Mets,” he said. “Alonso, in the last year of a contract, obviously 46 home runs, 100 RBIs, a guy that pounds the ball. Sure, he strikes out but who doesn’t these days?”

Chicago Has Questions at 1st Base Heading Into 2024

The Cubs have had an active offseason. However, none of their moves have included getting remotely close to acquiring Alonso. Chicago’s anticipated starting first baseman is Michael Busch. He was acquired by the club in a four-player trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers on January 11.

Busch brings a lot of potential to the North Side for 2024. He’s a consensus top-100 prospect in baseball according to Baseball America, and Baseball Prospectus. Busch spent 469 plate appearances in Triple-A for the Dodgers in 2023 and tore apart Pacific Coast League pitchers. He slashed .323/.431/.618 with 27 homers, 90 RBI and 85 runs scored.

The first baseman also made his big-league debut in 2023, racking up 81 plate appearances in 27 games played. He struggled to a .167/.247/.292 triple slash during that time, so there’s still something for him to prove at the highest level. Outfielder Cody Bellinger is a solid backup plan at first base if Busch falters. However, his three-year, $80 million deal allows him to opt out after 2024. If Busch doesn’t pan out as hoped and Bellinger re-enters free agency, it opens up the possibility of the Cubs pursuing Alonso once again.

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