Pete Alonso’s long-term future with the Mets provides one of the largest questions looming over the beginning of David Stearns’ tenure as the team’s president of baseball operations. While he danced around the subject at his introductory press conference last month, he’s finally beginning to provide some clarity on what the future holds regarding the relationship between him and the Mets’ star first baseman.
Appearing on MLB Network on Wednesday, Stearns said that he plans to open up contract extension talks with the 29-year-old slugger this offseason.
“We’re going to have those conversations,” Stearns said. “I’m generally of the mind that I try to keep those conversations out of the public dialogue… I’d like to have those conversations behind closed doors. I think they’re most productive that way.”
It appears the groundwork is already being laid. Alonso’s agent, Scott Boras, divulged on Wednesday afternoon that he has already begun talks with Stearns about his client’s contract situation.
“I met [Tuesday] at length with David,” Boras said. “We had a long conversation about his philosophies, ideologies. He views Pete as a core part of their team. We let him know that when it comes to the Polar Bear, we’re not in contract hibernation.”
Stearns noted in early October that he fully expected Alonso to be the organization’s starting first baseman on Opening Day of the 2024 season. But his name had cropped up in trade talks at the deadline when the Mets were selling off a litany of veterans to help restock the farm system.
As it stands, he’s a free agent at the end of next season, and Stearns’ comments on the subject didn’t suggest that there was going to be an abundance of haste to sort things out and resolve the issue rather than have an uncertain future weighing on Alonso’s shoulders.
“I think Pete has demonstrated he can handle pressure,” he said at the time. “He handled a whole lot of pressure this season and handled that pretty well. I’m not particularly concerned about Pete being distracted or unable to handle questions of pressure.”