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Mets' Stearns: Pete Alonso deal unlikely before free agency - ESPN

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The New York Mets realize a long-term deal with Pete Alonso is unlikely before the star first baseman is eligible for free agency after the World Series.

Alonso agreed last month to a $20.5 million, one-year contract that avoided arbitration. He switched agents last fall to Scott Boras, who usually encourages players to maximize value by testing the open market.

«I think that's probably the most likely outcome,» new president of baseball operations David Stearns said Monday, two days ahead of the Mets first spring training workout.

«Look, when you have a really talented player, who's really good, who's entering his final year of club control, who happens to be represented by Scott Boras, these things generally end up into free agency and we understand that,» Stearns added. «This is an organization that's dealt with that before with really good players and has ended up in a perfectly fine spot.»

A three-time All-Star, Alonso hit a career-low .217 last year with 46 homers and 118 RBI, down from a .271 average in 2022, when he hit 40 homers and tied for the major league lead with 131 RBI. Alonso set a rookie home run record with 53 in 2019, when he had 120 RBI.

«I have not seen Pete here yet, haven't talked to him here yet, but what we're going to talk about is, look, let's go out and have a great year together,» Stearns said. «You go out have a great year. Let's have a great year as a team, and if we do that we're both going to be set up, the organization and Pete, are going to be set up very well going into the offseason.»

Taking over a team that failed spectacularly last season, Stearns is optimistic New York can reach the playoffs this year despite a payroll retrenchment.

«As I talked to our