It appears the Chicago Cubs haven’t completely closed the door on possibly trading for New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso this offseason.
“The team also has power-hitting infielder/outfielder Christopher Morel playing first base during winter ball in an attempt to find a home for him around the diamond,” ESPN’s Jesse Rogers wrote about the Cubs for a piece published Thursday. “If the New York Mets were to make Pete Alonso available for a trade, the Cubs could be a fit, with Morel as a centerpiece player in return, according to sources familiar with their thinking.”
Alonso was first linked with the Cubs in early October and before new Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns said as recently as last week he plans to discuss a contract extension with representatives for the “Polar Bear” this fall and/or winter. While Stearns does “not anticipate” trading Alonso before Opening Day, it was reported earlier this week that the executive will listen “if a motivated team” makes a massive offer for the three-time All-Star who turns 29 years old on Dec. 7.
Alonso remains eligible for free agency after the 2024 season, but new Mets manager Carlos Mendoza recently compared Alonso’s situation to how New York Yankees star Aaron Judge played out a contract campaign before Judge inked a nine-year deal reportedly worth $360M last December to stay with the Yankees. For what it’s worth, Rogers acknowledged that “playing out the year, then testing the free agent waters is more than likely for Alonso” unless he puts pen to paper on an extension with the Mets before next fall.
The Cubs and Mets both are expected to take significant swings at landing two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani assuming Ohtani doesn’t re-sign with the Los Angeles Angels and is willing to relocate from the West Coast. The Mets reportedly want to compete for at least a playoff spot in 2024, and they potentially could view Ohtani as a lineup replacement for Alonso.