Whether he "prefers" to or not, it seems like the time has come for slugging Mets first baseman Pete Alonso to contemplate alternative pathways.
He's been a hulking Met and representative of the region ever since he was drafted out of Florida, but he represents a different regime. While new chief David Stearns would surely sign up for 40 home runs out of the first base position annually, this is a two-way street, and Stearns won't be swayed by emotion while setting his price for an aging, bulky ballplayer.
Alonso? He might be emotional about whatever decision is forthcoming, but if you read the tea leaves, it seems his emotions might be leading him elsewhere, like a cartoon character following a pie on a windowsill.
And, if Brian Cashman and Co. can find enough money to keep Juan Soto from flipping to the Mets and want to make a second splash, they just might be able to woo Alonso to the Yankees.
Per pot-stirrer Sal Licata of WFAN, there's been plenty of chatter that Alonso could be intrigued by the Cubs (well-known) and the Yankees (not so well-known) when his contract expires after the season in Queens. There has been no extension, and there hasn't been much chatter about one, either.
Yankees, Cubs could pursue Mets slugger Pete Alonso?
The Yankees' long-term first base dream has (likely) been Japanese superstar Munetaka Murakami, but it seems (sigh) reasonable to believe he'd prefer to join the Dodgers, too, after LA courted two of his most prominent countrymen this offseason and have designs on signing young ace Roki Sasaki, too. Why have the game's foremost Japanese superstars now chosen to team up after years of claiming that was against their tradition? Beats me, but it could result in the Yankees getting beaten out again.
In that case, Alonso would be a fairly fantastic Anthony Rizzo succession plan, as long as the Yankees can find the budgetary room to stomach it. Forget the manufactured rivalry with Aaron Judge; both men are phenomenal, albeit completely different ballplayers. The one thing they share is the ability to disintegrate a baseball, which could play well at either New York ballpark.
Alonso, an offense-first player, has never posted an OPS+ below 122 in his career, though the Short Porch won't have a massive impact on those numbers; his expected homer totals reflect a decrease if he'd spent the past several years in the Bronx. His free agent deal may age poorly, but he'd provide undeniable star power and temporary brawn for whoever locks him down. The Cubs might make more sense on the surface, but if he's interested in the Yankees, New York should make a call.