Some teams can afford the luxury of two superior players who play the same position. The last-place Mets are not one of those teams, they have a few too many needs that could be filled by dealing either Pete Alonso or Dominic Smith, both first basemen. For this article we will focus on the benefits of trading Alonso, and what might be the reasonable return for his services.

Alonso of course had a monster rookie year in 2019, but he regressed seriously this year. His slash line for 2020 was a subpar .231/.326/.490. Was 2020 an outlier? Or did big league pitchers catch on to a way of pitching Alonso that neutralized him? It is hard to say.

We do know that Smith produced a .316/.377/.616 line, including 10 homers and 21 doubles in the seriously shortened season. He has been consistently good ever since he controlled his sleep apnea medical problem a few years ago. He is a better fielder than Alonso at first base.

Alonso will still have plenty of value, He did still hit 16 homers this year and Statcast recorded an exit velocity of 118.4 on one homer he hit, at the top of velocities this year. He’s relatively young and considered to be an excellent teammate.

There are potential trade partners out there, teams that could use an upgrade at first. We’ll examine three of them, in no particular order, and see what they could offer the Mets.

The Los Angeles Dodgers had the best regular season record in the league this season, but they did have a glaring hole in their lineup at first base. Veteran Max Muncy was the regular first sacker, and his line was an abysmal .192/.331/.389. The Dodgers have plenty of depth at positions such as catcher and starting pitching, areas of need for the Mets.

Will Smith is the starting catcher for the Dodgers, and they are not going to trade him, he could be another Johnny Bench. Veteran catcher Austin Barnes is on the roster, and he saw plenty of action this year because of an injury to Smith. His offense is nothing special, but he is excellent defensively with a DRS of plus five. He would make a good bridge to the Mets highly rated prospect backstop Francisco Alvarez, who is still a few years away from the majors. The Dodgers would have to include someone else in the trade, probably a young pitcher like 21-year-old Clayton Beeter who throws a high 90s fastball with good secondary pitches.

The Dodgers have another catcher in their system, Keibert Ruiz, also 21, the number one prospect in their strong farm system. He is another excellent defensive catcher with good contact hitting skills. The Dodgers could package Ruiz with a lower rated pitching prospect for Alonso.

Cleveland is another team that was hurting at first base this year. Carlos Santana, age 34, assembled a slash line of .199/.349/.350. The Indians might well decline his option for 2021. The Indians of late have been well stocked with pitching. The Mets could dangle Alonso in front of the Indians in exchange for Zach Plesac, 25, who was 4-2 with a 2.28 ERA in 2020. His most dazzling stat was his WHIP figure, a microscopic 0.795. The Mets would have to throw in a pretty good prospect as well as Alonso to get him.

Yet another potential trade partner could be the Tampa Bay Rays. Their main first baseman this year was Ji-Man Choi, who had a .230/.331/.410 line. Alonso would be an improvement. The Rays traditionally do not draw fans very well, but Tampa native Alonso could well put more fans in the seats.

Tampa Bay always seems to have good pitching depth. Lefty Blake Snell has been their top pitcher for a few years. He was dominant in 2018, when he won the AL Cy Young. He had a bad 2019, then bounced back this year with a 4-2 record and 3.24 ERA. The Mets would probably have to sweeten the deal to pry Snell away from Tampa, perhaps adding a fairly highly ranked prospect?

Alonso is a pretty high-character player, but the Mets do have holes to fill. Of course, Alonso or Smith could be used as DH, but nobody knows if the DH will be a permanent feature of NL play. Besides there is no shortage of other candidates to play DH at times for the Mets, such as Robinson Cano and J.D. Davis.

It’s not an exact parallel, but the 1960’s San Francisco Giants had two future Hall of Fame first basemen on the roster at the same time, Orlando Cepeda and Willie McCovey. They finally traded Cepeda to the Cardinals for a declining Ray Sadecki, and Cepeda won the MVP as the Cards went on to win the WS.

Alonso has been a great addition to the Mets, despite his big hiccup this year. He deserves to be a starting first baseman somewhere, not a part-time 1b/DH.

33 comments on “For Pete’s sake – and the Mets’ sake – Pete Alonso should be traded

  • Dan Capwell

    I would swap Alonso and Cano to COL for Nolan Arenado. The only way the Rockies will trade the face of their franchise is for a guy who could hit 50 homers playing half his games in that thin air. The Mets lose the Cano contract to somewhat balance out Arenado’s.

    With Arenado, Gimenez, McNeil and Smith on the infield, plus Guillorme as the utility guy, the Mets have the best defensive infield they’ve had since 1999. By moving McNeil back to second, they can slide Nimmo to left and use what prospect capital they have left to get Harrison Bader to play center.

    Get Austin Hedges from Cleveland to split time behind the plate with Nido. The Mets will be at least on par with Atlanta defensively, while maintaining the offensive fire power they need.

    Now about the pitching staff…

    • Chris F

      Cano is going nowhere. He has a no trade clause. I like the notion of getting Arenado, but Cano will never be part of a deal.

      • JimO

        Agreed – Cano will not leave NYC again.

  • TJ

    Clearly the Mets need to consider all possibilities that improve the team, both in the near term and in the long term. Determining a course of action and positional excess first needs a clear understanding of DH or no DH. No DH will really force the Alonso/Smith issue. Adopted DH changes the complexion dramatically. The Mets are very prone to LHP and need RH pop. Ramos and Rosario were very disappointing and those RH spots also need to be addressed, with the likelihood that one could go to LH Gimenez. While Alonso struggled in 2020, he has shown enough advanced approach to hitting to think this was mostly growing pains. Dealing him would require a great return that secures long term SP and/or RH offense.

    Cano has no-trade power and I can’t see any way he accepts a deal to Colorado, and likely anywhere except the Yankees, which won’t happen.

    Arenado is a great fielder with iffy offense outside of Coors, a huge contract, and a player out after 2021. While he is elite, he is not a ticket seller. At this stage, I can’t envision him as the type of guy that would interest either Cohen or Alderson.

  • James Postorino

    What a incompetent article .do you understand the marketing value that Alonso has for the Mets not to mention one year from the most home runs by a rookie and you want a back up catcher and we have to throw in another top flight prospect do you even hear yourself don’t print garbage

    • José

      Disagreeing with someone is just fine. But calling someone’s writing “incompetent” or “garbage” is unnecessary and unjustifiably hostile.

      If you need a forum to vent your spleen, there are plenty of choices available. I’m sure that your input would be welcomed here if ratcheted down to an appropriately respectful level

      • Unk

        I agree; having an opinion is fine, but that was totally uncalled for and childish. There are plenty of ways to disagree with someone without being rude. Welcome to this new world of Computer Ganstas.

    • Mike W

      What a rotten response. Everybody is entitled to their opinion. And that is why we have fun enjoyable debate.

    • TexasGusCC

      I agree with John and wrote such ten days ago. Further, if you think a guy that can’t play good defense and is basically a DH is too good to trade, then you are not helping your team improve.

    • Ed Randazzo

      Truth. Trading Polar Bear would be revisiting the stupidity of trading Nolan Ryan.

      • Pete Ace

        I would trade pete Alonzo strait up for gaby a rozarena of Tampa bay.

    • Mark Torres

      Trade Alonso? Seriously? This kid should be the next captain. You can’t go by this aberration of a season. The Mets need an upgrade at catcher, center field and the starting rotation needs improvement. Yes, Dom did have a good year and I like the kid, but it was only 60 games. Could he have kept up that pace in a full season? I think with the new ownership coming the Mets will be improved and will hopefully have more success next season.

  • Teddy b

    What? No…………..

  • JimO

    At this point, Alonso is a star (he had a tough start to the season, pressed, and didn’t start to get untracked until the very end of the year). Smith is an emerging star. I envision the DH being a permanent part of the NL landscape. I think we should keep both.

    Look for Cohen to add technological enhancements to support front-office and on-the-field performances. There would be no way I’d make a deal to trade Alonso without first giving those a chance to impact hi-potential players.

    • José

      If forced to trade one of them, Alonso would be a better choice because he has higher trade value, but I think Smith is a better overall player.

      Actually, I’d prefer to keep both.

      So it sounds like I agree with you, in my own convoluted manner

      • Unk

        Guess I’m convoluted too, bc I agree wholeheartedly, Lol.

  • Ike

    So your big idea is to trade Pete because of a short in season where he didn’t put a great offense of numbers still let the team in homeruns still was probably in the top 10 in homeruns in the National League because Dom had a great year I’m just wondering how many runs did Dom playing left field cost us this year? Is he a great leftfielder know this is often to make up for it I think it does, is Pete a great first baseman not yet but In 2019 he made more errors on being awfully aggressive then falsely miss thrown to him as a matter fact he saved a lot of errors with the place he made it first and I think as long as he keeps working at getting better which everybody says he’s a hard worker then he will just get better and better his offense will offset some of that absolutely and just like they’re getting to learn how to throw to him he’s going to start realizing what pitches he can’t handle and he’s going to become a better hitter he has done that all throughout his career maybe go back and take a look at that do you want to trade him for a part-time catcher and a kid pitcher who’s done nothing in the major leagues when we’re probably closer to getting JT this year and we should work on more pitching and we can do that in free agency with Bauer and resign Stroman then how would our pitching staff looking, look at what the Rays have done Good pitching stops good hitting

  • David Klein

    No he had a 123 OPS+ in a “bad season” and if it would be a regular 162 season he would have have gotten hot and put up a 140ish OPS+

  • Metsense

    Smith is the better all around player. The Mets need starting pitchers. An Alonso trade therfore should yield a controllable SP2 or better. Plesac or Snell straight up would be alright. The Mets don’t have to choose between Alonso and Smith. Nimmo, Conforto, Davis, Gimenez and Rosario should be considered as trade bait to obtain good starting pitching. For the Mets sake they should trade to improve the team and trade not for the sake of the player.

  • Rich

    Turn your computer off, clean out your desk and go.

    • Ed Randazzo

      Don’t forget your Phillies cap either.

  • Mike W

    Thought provoking trade scenarios. I would not trade Alonso until the open DH issue is settled. If there is a DH moving forward, I would not trade him. He hit 16 home runs in 60 games. Prorated out, would be 42 home runs. And he was just heating up too.

    I think you are undervaluing him. A lot of teams would jump on getting Alonso. 50 home run potential every year, controllable for a long time and cheap. A smart GM would listen to offers, but would have to be overwhelmed with an offer.

    Plus, there would be a lot of heart broken pissed off fans.

  • Hobie

    I find it hard to read the “trade this guy” articles sprinkled with a fantasy array of get backs.

    Would much prefer a “get this guy” piece with an analysis of what you’d be willing to pay. That’s just me.

    • Dondon’tPete Ace

      Don’t get me wrong l don’t like the idea of trading a player like Pete. He is a right handler hitter which te team needs, he could platoon with cano who is left handed or play together. Let’s see what mr. Cohen do we could make all kind of sugestión but the man with the money makes all the decisions.

  • Rocco Gandolfo

    Trying to wrap my head around what seems like a useless trade scenario. You mention the Dodgers have all this amazing catching but won’t swap will smith for the 2019 ROY and full season HR leader. Why would the Mets trade for a teams 3rd or 4th option at catcher? This just seems silly to me. The last day of the season, we saw Pete go the other way up the middle to crush an unhittable pitch out of the park. This kid is awesome, your betting this entire article on a subpar crazy Covid nightmare season. I guess Luke Voit is a HOF now?
    Keep Alonzo, sign JT. Problem solved. Maybe we should trade DeGrom for the dodgers 12th and 24th best pitching prospects. And in all fairness, calling the Mets a last place team when you lose Thor, Stroman, Wheeler is unfair. Let’s see what Cohen can do. The Mets can add a couple players and win the division next year

  • John Fox

    Thanks to all for your comments and criticisms, I cetainly did a few chuckles out of some of them

  • Charles Maggio

    I gave up reading all the comments half way thru. Article is spot on and something I have been thinking of for a while. Trade Alonso while he has value. He is one dimensional and will be a .240 hitter with 40 dingers every year, there is trade value in that but he likely will never match 2019 again and fans are overrating him. The suggestion to package him with Cano is completely unrealistic. Not only will Cano veto any trade, no one is going to want a 38 year old, $24 million/ year second basemen on the decline with PED history. And insulting the author (and I’m sure me after this post) may be your right but is unnecessary. Lastly, getting JT alone is not going to help this team… Not only do we need a catcher (McCann ilo JT?), but we need a CF (Springer?), either a LF or 3B and at least 2 starting pitchers (hello head case Trevor Bauer). Hold up on SS until the big SS- loaded free agency next year. That’s a lot…

    • TJ

      I will second that insulting an author is uncalled for, whether agreeing or disagreeing with position or proposal. Even long shot scenarios stimulate though and discussion.

      On a weak team, anyone is a trade possibility. This includes deGrom, no less Pete. Ultimately, the Mets have numerous weaknesses, likely too many to fix in one winter. Right-handed offense is one of the weaknesses, so dealing some of that offense requires a clear multistep plan to replace/upgrade. The Mets don’t have much history of success with multistep plans…hopefully that changes with the upcoming administrative “adjustments”.

    • Chris F

      As a monthly contributor to Mets360 and a decade-long regular at the site, it is clear that the social contract here does not (thankfully) tolerate personal attacks. Healthy debate is always welcome, however. I regularly stand on a rather small island with contrarian opinions, but these are welcomed and indeed criticized, but we do not have a culture of attacking authors. It is worth remembering that everyone writing here is volunteering. Everyone’s work loads with the pandemic are so chaotic – we’re all doing the best we can.

      The idea of trading anyone on this team to make it better should be on the table. Because of a long-term stretch of poor performance – only punctuated by a magical 2015 – Mets fans have learned to celebrate success of individuals and not the team, and we get close to players we root for. In my opinion the team has perpetually suffered from pretending it is “almost there” and remains in “win now” mode, which means the farm gets drained for failing veterans that do not produce. That non stop panic mode is impossible to sustain, and only hardens the fans against the team as a whole, and even more focuses on individuals we all love. Its all about the name on the front and not the name on the back. Of we need to trade Pete, or Dom, or Jake, or Nimmo to make the team better by filling desperately needed gaps, then so be it.

    • John Fox

      Thanks Charles, you eloquently pointed out this might be the right time to trade Pete, as popular as he is. thanks for your support on the insult matter.

  • JimO

    I agree with Chris – lets not attack our authors. Lets attack the Braves (of course we’ll have to wait a few months for that though).

  • Keith Kayman

    I just had to read the headline to comment on what I’m sure had some good points and scenarios. Trading Pete is ridiculous the fans love him he puts fannies in the seats and will attract free agents to play with him. That’s just from his personality. Baseball wise he is just a beast, yes subpar year to last year but you had a covid straining interrupted short spring a long layoff and a never ending changing schedule not ideal for a sophomore season. The Mets had just one other monster player Strawberry who wasted his talent and should have been a hall of Famer. Let’s not let go of Pete so he can be another teams all star and HOF guy. Remember a guy named Nolan Ryan

  • Scott Ferguson

    Trading Alonso is unnecessary. Trading Nimmo and Rosario makes more sense. The Mets should be talking to Cleveland about Lindor. That’s about the only place I’d consider an Alonso trade, but I’d want it to grow into one including Plesac for Alonso to be involved.

    Everyone forgets how valuable a guy like him is to a lineup. Yeah he’s going to be a 240, 250 hitter every year and strike out a lot, but he’s also a player that opposing teams are scared of. Having him in the lineup leads to players around him getting better pitches to hit because the other team doesn’t want to run the risk of Alonso parking one in the upper deck. That, his work ethic and his leadership mean something.

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