Pete Alonso should be the starting first baseman for the Mets on Opening Day. But it looks like he may be reporting to Syracuse instead. Here’s why…
Pete Alonso is one of those players who has accomplished all there is do in the minor leagues. Is he what we would call polished? No, of course not, especially (perhaps) defensively. But he is ready to take the next step, and there is no one connected to the Mets that I can find who says he isn’t.
Check that. There are no baseball people within the Mets organization who think Pete Alonso needs to open the season hitting against Triple-A pitchers in Syracuse. Unfortunately, their votes may not count when all is said and done.
And that’s because, within the Mets organization, you have the logic and sense baseball people, divided against the dollars and cents financial people. As you might guess, it’s always the latter who wins in baseball.
The Mets are facing the same scenario as the Yankees did two years when they held Gleyber Torres in limbo with their Triple-A club in Scranton until such time elapsed (May 15 or so) when Torres could be called up, allowing the Yankees to pick up the sixth year of team control over Torres.
The same fate is likely to slap Pete Alonso in the face before the Mets leave camp. And even though we can see dollars and sense reasoning why the Mets would do this, as fans we see it as a travesty of baseball sense.
This, given what Pete Alonso can contribute to the Mets lineup for the first six to eight weeks of the season when it is ever so important the team breaks out of the gate in playoff-bound form.
Just as there is no crying in baseball, there is seldom any fairness either. We can only surmise the anxiousness and amount of work Pete Alonso has put in to reach this point. And despite what he might say publicly, Pete Alonso fully expects, because he has earned it, to head North with the team in March.
Brodie Van Wagenen, the Mets GM, recently said he would be a regular in the Mets clubhouse as a way of keeping in touch with Met’s players.
Before his next visit, however, let’s see Brodie step up to challenge the Wilpons on this one, speaking on behalf of not only Pete Alonso, but a good portion of his teammates and fans who want to see the best product the Mets can put out there from day one.
A weighty chore for a first-year GM, much less one who works for a play it by the book ownership. To be fair, though, this is ultimately the fault of a battle yet to be waged by the Major League Baseball Player’s Association (MLBPA). They are the ones who dropped the ball when they negotiated on the current agreement, for example, traveling team chefs, instead of focusing on the issues that mattered, and ultimately would turn out to bite them.
Who then can blame owners of teams for taking advantage of every single money-saving device they can within the bounds of the current agreement?
Hopefully, Pete Alonso will be one of the last players caught in this free-agency vise. We have seen owners, Padres and Phillies excepted, hold the line on long-term deals that were once given out like candy to free agents.
Some teams and the Mets are one of them, are already seeking alternative ways to combat the expensive and divisive episodes of arbitration and free agency by offering their key players’ contract extensions before they reach those contentious stages.
For now, unless the Mets do something against their very nature, it appears Pete Alonso will be one of the players I see at NBT Bank Stadium when the Syracuse Mets begin their season.
Bought tickets yesterday at their Open House, so I can’t complain about that, but I’d much rather be seeing him at Citi Field instead. Keep on dreamin’, Steve……? We’ll see.