'I love being a Met': Alonso nearly a Brewer at Deadline?

August 23rd, 2023

ATLANTA -- wants to make one thing clear: any recent trade discussions that the Mets may have had about him don’t affect his feelings for the organization.

“Being a Met, it’s the only thing I know,” Alonso said following Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to the Braves at Truist Park, after The Athletic released a report detailing serious trade talks between the Mets and Brewers prior to the Aug. 1 Deadline.

“There are so many people here -- not just here in the big league clubhouse, but I came up with in the Minor Leagues -- that have had such a positive impact on my career. It’s been phenomenal here so far. I don’t know what the future holds, but right now, I’m a Met.

“And I love being a Met. I take pride in putting on the jersey every day and representing the city of New York.”

According to a Brewers official quoted anonymously in The Athletic report, the teams were within “field-goal range” of completing a deal that would have sent Alonso to Milwaukee for a package including at least one of the Brewers’ top-five prospects.

Alonso wound up staying with the Mets, however, even as the club dealt Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander -- two stars who could have played important roles on the 2024 team.

Alonso can become a free agent after next season, which means his window of team control does not line up neatly with the Mets’ redrawn plans. While the team intends to invest in free agents for next year’s roster, owner Steve Cohen and general manager Billy Eppler have talked about building toward a more robust competitive window beginning around 2025-26.

Alonso can’t be part of that unless he agrees to a contract extension. Mets officials and Alonso’s camp have remained tight-lipped regarding the possibility of that happening, despite favorable comments from Cohen and Eppler regarding their star first baseman.

If the Mets want to extend Alonso, Cohen has the financial wherewithal to make it happen. But the club has many other areas it also must address on future rosters.

If New York determines that an extension for Alonso is unlikely, it will become incentivized to trade him before he reaches free agency. In addition to the Brewers, The Athletic cited the Cubs as a team with interest in Alonso’s services. It’s a market the Mets can explore again this offseason or at next year’s Trade Deadline.

But for the next six weeks, at least, Alonso will remain a Met. Through five seasons, he has established himself as one of the franchise’s all-time great offensive players, ranking third in slugging percentage, fifth in OPS and fifth in home runs.

Should Alonso stick around long-term, he would be a near-lock to become the franchise’s all-time home run king.

“I love representing this organization,” he said. “I love being a Met. I love representing the city of New York the best way I possibly can.”