“All-Star Pitcher Pete Alonso Announces Retirement from New York Mets ,MLB”

New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso is most concerned about the present tense right now in the face of his impending free agency, but he told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that his future is still a “big question mark” despite his love for the city and franchise.

“I’m not particularly thinking about that right now,” Alonso said.

“I love the city I play in. I consider myself a New Yorker. I have a great relationship with guys on the team obviously. And I think I have a great relationship with people in the front office and Steve as well. We’ll see what happens this winter. It’s a big question mark. For me, right now, I’m just focusing on doing what I can to help us win every day.”

Per Rosenthal, that answer was in response to a question about whether Alonso was concerned that his agent, Scott Boras, could potentially direct other clients and 2024 free agents of his (namely outfielder Juan Soto and starting pitcher Corbin Burnes) to the Mets, thereby blocking a return to his old team with big money going to other players.

Alonso, who turns 30 in December, is a three-time All-Star in his sixth MLB season. He’s hit 200 home runs, including a rookie-record 53 in his first campaign.

This year has been a struggle, though. Alonso’s .205 batting average, .293 OBP and .710 OPS are all career-low marks. He has hit eight home runs.

However, the season is only 35 games old, and it’s certainly possible that Alonso will turn it around and begin hitting closer to his career slash line (.249/.339/.552).

Alonso’s ultimately going to get paid, though. Tim Brittonnew  of The Athletic projected a seven-year, $190 million extension last March. Perhaps that guess would dip a bit more if Alonso slumps through 2024, but he’s not going to land on a team at a deep discount.

As of now, Alonso is playing out a one-year, $20.5 million deal struck to avoid arbitration. And both he and the Mets are more worried about digging out of a rut that’s seen the team lose 10 of 15 to drop to 17-18. They’ll look to get back to .500 Tuesday at the St. Louis Cardinals.

Pete Alonso’s value to the New York Mets is greater than it is to any other team. He is homegrown. He is proven in New York. He is 53 home runs shy of becoming the franchise’s all-time home-run leader.

But how much of a priority Alonso will be for the Mets this offseason — and how much of a priority his agent, Scott Boras, will place on keeping him in New York — are open questions.

Boras represents a number of other potential free agents whom the Mets are likely to pursue, most notably outfielder Juan Soto and right-hander Corbin Burnes. Many in the industry expect Mets owner Steve Cohen to splurge this offseason as his payroll flexibility increases dramatically. But the dynamics of Alonso’s pending free agency are fascinating, to say the least.

It’s almost impossible to imagine Cohen making the same type of preemptive move he did with Edwin Díaz in 2022, signing the pitcher to a record $102 million guarantee for a reliever just four days before the free-agent market opened. Oh, Boras might be amenable if the Mets offer a deal in excess of Miguel Cabrera’s record $248 million contract for a first baseman. But the way first basemen are valued today, the Mets might not see him as worth more than the $162 million the Los Angeles Dodgers gave Freddie Freeman. And Boras, at least initially, likely will want to keep his options open.

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