Pete Alonso extension should be next step for Mets

This winter has been a mix of long- and short-term planning for the Mets. Throughout the offseason, the club has made clear its intent to win now while also working toward becoming a sustainable winner.

The next step the Mets can take toward that long-term goal is to extend Pete Alonso, their homegrown first base star.

Alonso and the Mets agreed on a one-year, $14.5 million contract for 2023 to avoid arbitration on Friday. It was the largest contract awarded to a first baseman in an arbitration negotiation and something that felt surreal to the two-time Home Run Derby champ.

“It was really special,” Alonso told reporters in Tampa over the weekend at a youth home run derby event that benefitted the Alonso Foundation. “As a young kid, thinking back on it, I never thought that that would be a possibility. I mean, it was a dream. As a young kid, you just want to get [to the major leagues], and then once things start to become more of a reality, then it’s like ‘OK, this is real. This is real.’”

Alonso has one more arbitration year before becoming a free agent, but the Mets could eliminate the possibility of free agency in two years by working out a multi-year contract extension. “Polar Bear Pete” is integral to the club’s success on the field and he’s one of the most popular players off of it. The 2019 NL Rookie of the Year is a franchise cornerstone with his consistent offensive production and his passionate playing style has endeared him to fans.

The 28-year-old two-time Al