April 24, 2024

The Mets will not profit from acquiring this player in a Pete Alonso trade.

Dear Members of Congress, can we put a stop to Pete Alonso trade rumors? The regular season has begun, and the obscene discussion about the New York Mets failing to contend in 2024 is myopic. After what we saw in last year’s playoff battle, with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins barely making it in and the former going to the World Series, every team seeking to improve deserves to be in the playoff debate right now. There is no need to take the car to a repair shop until the brakes begin to screech.

Things move too slowly in Washington for this to occur. So we bite our lips and march on as the trade talks continue. For whatever reason, they always return to the Chicago Cubs.

Curt Bishop of FanSided recently put up a preview of the early stages of an Alonso-to-Cubs trade that could take place this summer. Matt Mervis, a power hitting first base prospect, will be the centerpiece. While it is a match for the Mets to replace their own first base slugger, it is probably the most undesirable trade component to get.

The Mets shouldn’t even consider Matt Mervis in a trade for Pete Alonso

Mets' Pete Alonso heads to 3rd-career All-Star game


The Cubs have a large number of first-base prospects. Along with Mervis, as Bishop points out, they have Michael Busch, who was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Each might easily become one of those Four-A players who dominates Triple-A but never achieves consistent success in the major leagues. To put it another way, Mark Vientos lacks the ability to play third base.

Bishop’s trade would also include “some top 10 prospects,” which does not provide much insight into how good or horrible this trade would be for the Mets. The ambiguity makes it impossible to analyze or dissect this faux deal beyond dismissing the inclusion of Mervis or perhaps Busch to the Mets’ roster.

Mervis turns 26 in mid-April, and Busch blew out the same amount of candles in November. Possible late bloomers, it’s difficult to be interested in two first basemen who are so far behind Alonso in development. Alonso’s age 26 season occurred in 2021. The Mets aren’t finding a hidden gem with either.

The Mets have to leave the door open for other options at first base

Given that the Mets have Ryan Clifford in the minors, who will not turn 21 until July, we should be able to find a solution with him at first base in two or three years if Alonso retires. While Clifford plays corner outfield, the Mets already have Brandon Nimmo locked up and Drew Gilbert is slated to occupy the other corner slot. Clifford is destined to play first base if he stays with the Mets.

Furthermore, acquiring Mervis, Busch, or any other first baseman in a trade for Alonso effectively eliminates the Polar Bear’s prospects of reuniting with the Mets if he is gone. This is something the Mets will want to keep open. He may not be their top priority next offseason, but his familiarity, popularity, and quality should allow them to consider the trade and re-sign scenario that every fan hopes to see happen when a favorite is sold at the deadline. If you miss Juan Soto, return your focus to Alonso.

Finally, are the Cubs more likely than the Mets to fight for a postseason berth? Shota Imanaga is one of their offseason additions, but there’s not much else. They are banking on Cody Bellinger to not fall off a cliff and for others to improve. Even with an elderly Kyle Hendricks remaining on the roster, the starting rotation isn’t fantastic. Still coming off their most recent rebuild, the Cubs are just as likely to trade major league parts to the Mets in late July as the other way around. All they have going for them is a legitimate shot at the NL Central title in a weak division. The more likely consequence is both teams are selling.

If the Mets decide to trade Alonso, they should look for players who play a premium position. Pitching and low-level minor leaguers like Marco Vargas are more appropriate for this organization’s needs. That’s something we can tolerate. A first baseman on the other side of 26 who has yet to establish himself in the majors is too young.

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