How the Twins and Mets Match Up on a Pete Alonso Trade (2024)

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The New York Mets have struggled this season, sitting well below .500 despite baseball’s highest payroll. It seems likely that the club will shed salaries by the trade deadline, and Pete Alonso is a logical trade candidate. He is being paid $20.5 million in his last year of arbitration eligibility, and then he'll become a free agent, so he will be a rental piece for an acquiring team. There are extra layers to acquiring Alonso, especially for a team like the Twins. So, what will it cost, and can the Twins find a way to add one of baseball’s biggest sluggers?

What will it cost to acquire Pete Alonso?
Other teams (besides the Twins) will be interested in adding Alonso for a potential playoff run, so the acquiring team must offer the right prospect package. Would the Twins offer one of their top five prospects to acquire him? Twins Daily’s top prospects include Walker Jenkins, Brooks Lee, Emmanuel Rodriguez, David Festa, and Gabriel Gonzalez. From the team perspective, Jenkins and Lee are likely untouchable, while Rodriguez and Festa have seen their stock rise during the 2024 campaign. Gonzalez or another top-10 pitching prospect like Marco Raya might be enough to headline a package. There would likely need to be other players involved from outside the team’s top prospects, though.

The Mets can also leverage the qualifying offer process in any deal for Alonso. If New York keeps Alonso, they will assuredly extend him the qualifying offer, which comes with draft pick compensation if a player signs with another team. A compensation-round pick is valuable, including more money added to a team’s draft pool. A team trading for Alonso must provide New York something worth more than the potential draft pick they would acquire if he leaves. It’s also worth noting that an acquiring team can’t extend a qualifying offer to Alonso, because of the rules in place as part of the collective bargaining agreement.

What are other trade considerations?
New York is paying Alonso over $20 million this season, so he will still be due close to $7 million for the season’s final two months. Minnesota cut payroll this winter because of the uncertainty surrounding their television rights. There might not be room to add Alonso’s contract, absent the Mets sending some money to pay down the end of the deal. To do this, the Twins might have to send more value in prospects to make up the difference. However, there is another way to make the money work.

To balance the money, the Twins could include a veteran player with a higher salary. Minnesota shopped their veterans this winter, and Jorge Polanco was the only player traded. Christian Vázquez would be due a little over $3 million for the season’s last two months, plus the $10 million remaining on his contract for next season. Vázquez’s offensive performance has dipped in 2024, but he continues to provide strong defense, with a Fielding Run Value and framing in the 82nd percentile or higher. Perhaps New York would be interested in adding catching depth to offset Alonso’s contract; they did recently DFA catcher Omar Narváez. However, the Twins would still need to include multiple prospects to make a competitive offer.

How does Alonso fit with the Twins?
Alonso has seen a slight drop in his home run production this season, after averaging more than 40 home runs in the five full seasons played since he came to the big leagues in 2019. He’s been an All-Star the last two seasons, including finishing in the top eight for the NL MVP in 2022. In 58 games this season, he is hitting .239/.315/.477, with a 130 OPS+. Carlos Santana has been the Twins’ primary first baseman this season, posting a 92 OPS+ in 54 games. However, his bat has improved recently, with an .841 OPS since Apr. 25.

One of Minnesota’s most significant weaknesses this season has been the struggles of the team’s left-handed bats. Alonso is a right-handed hitter with almost identical splits against lefties (.867 OPS) and righties (.862 OPS) for his career. His OPS has dropped to .778 this season versus right-handed pitchers, but it’s 33 points higher against right-handed starters. He’s an impact bat who can make a difference for the stretch run.

Home runs help to win games in October, but Alonso has been limited to three playoff games with the Mets. New York lost the Wild Card Series to San Diego in 2022, but the club won the middle game when Alonso hit a homer. Minnesota needs to be creative at the upcoming trade deadline, and adding Alonso can bolster the lineup. However, he might be one of the biggest bats moved this year, and plenty of teams will be interested in his services.

Should the Twins try to add Alonso? What should the team be willing to give up? Leave a comment and start the discussion.

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How the Twins and Mets Match Up on a Pete Alonso Trade (2024)
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