New York Mets show Pete Alonso what he means to franchise

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 05: Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets bats during a Grapefruit League spring training game against the St Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium on March 5, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. The game ended in a 7-7 tie. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FL - MARCH 05: Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets bats during a Grapefruit League spring training game against the St Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium on March 5, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. The game ended in a 7-7 tie. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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At a time when most teams are content to simply renew the contracts of their younger players, the New York Mets showed Pete Alonso what he means to the franchise.

As a pre-arbitration player, Pete Alonso‘s salary for the 2020 season was in the hands of the New York Mets. Despite a historic rookie campaign, the Mets could simply renew his contract, handing Alonso the minimum salary for a major league player. Or, they could give him a small raise, acknowledging his contributions, but also reminding him that they hold the hammer when it comes to his compensation.

Instead, on Wednesday, the Mets showed Alonso what he means to the franchise. Instead of taking the easy way out, they gave Alonso a record salary for a second year player – $652,521.

Alonso deserves that payday and far more. He was a revelation as a rookie, producing a .260/.358/.583 batting line with a rookie record 53 homers. That production made Alonso an All Star and the National League Rookie of the Year, while he finished seventh in the MVP balloting. Even if he replicates 80% of his production from last year, Alonso is an extremely valuable piece for the Mets.

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That is something that the Mets recognize. In giving Alonso a record deal, and one that impressed the young star, the Mets are showing what he means to the team. They are also showing that he is considered a building block for the franchise, a player that they want to ensure remains a part of the ballclub.

The Mets showed that same level of respect from the beginning of last season. They could have easily sent Alonso to the minors for a few weeks, calling him to New York once they would be assured of an extra year of team control. Instead, the Mets brought Alonso with them to New York on the Opening Day roster, showing their faith in the burgeoning star.

This may be where general manager Brodie Van Wagenen’s past as an agent comes into play. By giving Alonso that record deal, he knows that the Mets value him. This could lead to an increased willingness to discuss a long term extension, or even a potential home team discount as free agency creeps closer.

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The New York Mets have done right by Pete Alonso. This could pay dividends in the future, as they know exactly what he means to the future of the organization.