David Stearns has continuously said the right, conservative things when it comes to Pete Alonso’s uncertain long-term future with the New York Mets.
He continued signing that similar tune during an appearance on the Foul Territory Podcast when asked about where things stand with the slugger approaching the 2024 season — his final year under contract before hitting free agency.
“Where we are right now, everyone is going to focus on this year,” Stearns said. “The best thing for us is for Pete to have a great year and the best thing for Pete is for Pete to have a great year. Then we’ll go forward from there. But we’re certainly invested in trying to keep Pete a Met and I’m hopeful that over time, we’ll be able to work that out.”
Stearns hasn’t put forth any sense of urgency when it comes to securing one of the game’s best power hitters since taking over as president of baseball operations back in October.
He put initial trade rumors to bed almost immediately upon his arrival, saying during his introductory press conference that he expected Alonso to be the team’s Opening Day first baseman in 2024. This after Stearns’ former team, the Brewers, reportedly were in talks with the Mets at the trade deadline for Alonso’s services.
In November, he told MLB Network that he and Alonso’s representation, headlined by super-agent Scott Boras, “would have those conversations” this offseason while stressing his desire to keep any details private. Just days earlier, Boras said that they started having preliminary discussions before dropping the line, “We let him know that when it comes to the Polar Bear, we’re not in contract hibernation.”
But there has been no reported movement on that front other than Stearns maintaining his stance that Alonso is a core member of the Mets in 2024 and that a new deal, should it come, will be addressed when the time is right.
That could very well come next winter during free agency, even with Alonso declaring his love for New York and the organization. It’s a route that Alonso deserves to take should he so choose considering no one in Major League Baseball has hit more home runs than him since his debut campaign in 2019.
It’s also an outcome that the Mets shouldn’t necessarily be worried about. If Alonso’s sentiments about staying with the club are true, then owner Steve Cohen won’t be outbid to retain the 29-year-old.
“Pete’s a really good player. He’s performed on a big stage here for a long time,” Stearns said. “I know that, we all know that. We know how important he is to our fanbase.”