Mets owner Steven Cohen doesn't expect long-term deal with star Pete Alonso before season ends

Sun, Mar 17, 2024
MLB News (AP)

Mets owner Steven Cohen doesn't expect long-term deal with star Pete Alonso before season ends

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) - New York Mets owner Steve Cohen doesn't expect to sign a long-term contract with star first baseman Pete Alonso before the end of the season.

Alonso has a $20.5 million, one-year contract and can become a free agent after the World Series.

"We haven't had any discussion and I think at this point, for Pete, it's best for him to go and have a great year and not be distracted," Cohen said Sunday at Mets spring training camp.

Alonso, who turns 30 in December, was the 2019 NL Rookie of the Year and is a three-time All-Star. He has a .251 batting average with 192 homers, 498 RBIs and a .870 OPS in five major league seasons.

Alonso last fall hired Scott Boras as his agent, and Boras generally prefers his clients use their free-agent rights to maximize value.

Cohen believes his good relationship with Boras could help the Mets.

"I enjoy the conversation," he said.

Cohen, who bought the Mets in November 2020, pointed to the team's $102 million, five-year deal with closer Edwin Diaz and $162 million, eight-year contract with outfielder Brandon Nimmo before the 2022 season.

"We know how to do this," Cohen said. "We did it with Edwin. We did it with Brandon after the season, and so we'll figure it out when we get there."

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New York is coming off season in which it finished fourth in the NL East with a 75-87 record despite a record $355 million opening-day payroll. The Mets shed players for prospects ahead of the trade deadline and paid a record luxury tax of nearly $101 million.

"For the first time I would say that we're starting to look stacked," Cohen said during a 20-minute media session, his first of spring training. "I don't think I ever would have said that term. That's a good feeling. Between that and our ability to use our resources in the free agency market, that's a pretty powerful combination."

Cohen remains optimistic that the Mets can reach the playoffs, even with top starter Kodai Senga projected to start the season on the injured list because of a strained right shoulder.

"When you talk with players, they said the defense is going to be so much better than last year," Cohen said. "Last year we were giving four outs in an inning."

"We've talked about being competitive," Cohen added. "My expectation is we will be. I think the club looks pretty good. I think general expectations have been pretty low and I think we'll going to surprise to the upside."

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