Before we get too far into the fit of Pete Alonso on this SF Giants roster let's look at why he's available in the first place. Prior to the 2023 season, the New York Mets had the highest payroll of any MLB franchise by nearly $70 million dollars.
Why New York Mets slugger should be the next SF Giants superstar
This is before giving Pete Alonso, arguably their best player, an extension. The Mets subsequently had losing months in all but April and had a catastrophic June going 7-19. This led to the Mets being well out of the playoff race by the trade deadline and they began trading people away.
Justin Verlander returned to Houston, Max Scherzer was welcomed into Bruce Bochy's clubhouse, David Robertson swam to Miami, Mark Canha was bucked to Milwaukee, Tommy Pham slithered to Arizona, and former SF Giants reliever Dominic Leone flew to Anaheim. It's over right?
The Mets will just reload in the off-season and go again... Not so fast. While Steve Cohen, the owner of the New York Mets, stated he expects the team to be "highly competitive" in 2024, one can't help but notice that Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer each were signed through 2024. There is no doubt that the Mets are taking a step back next season and Pete Alonso is a free agent following the year. Steve Cohen stated this about Alonso's future, "We love Pete as a Met. He's an integral part of the Mets. He's still with us for another year. We hope we work things out". There should be little doubt a Pete Alonso trade will be something the Mets may seek or Alonso may force.
So, Pete Alonso is available. But does he fit this Giants roster? This season the players we have seen at 1B the most have been Lamonte Wade Jr., Wilmer Flores, J.D. Davis, and Joc Pederson. Pederson is a free agent this off-season and is doubtful to return following a disappointing season and questionable locker room antics.
Wade, Flores, and Davis are all under contract for 2024. However, Davis is a natural 3B, Wade can play the OF, and Flores can play 2B and 3B in addition to 1B. If Alonso were to be acquired he would slot in at 1B against both lefties and righties. It's likely that Wade would DH vs. right-handed pitching while one of Davis or Flores occupied 3B.
Against LHP Wade would take a seat while Flores and Davis would occupy DH and 3B. This would hardly be a disruption as Wade would return to facing only right-handing pitching which is for the best (career 32 OPS+ vs. LHP, 100 is average), while allowing Davis and Flores to alternate playing against RHP limiting their exposure to injury as both eclipse 30 years of age.
There are two parts to the cost side of this equation. What would it cost the Giants in trade value and in a contract extension? To determine trade cost we will use Baseball Trade Value to find a proper trade that will allow the Giants to acquire Alonso.
Obviously, the accuracy of this exercise will not be perfect but the purpose is to get an idea of what it would cost the Giants. Using this source, finding a reasonable trade was shockingly easy. Farhan Zaidi has already made it clear that dealing from their surplus of minor league pitching could happen this off-season so I started there. A combination of Keaton Winn, Landen Roup/Carson Wisenhunt, and Carson Seymour would be enough to acquire the Mets star. This might be a bitter pill to swallow and it may even take more than that. Though, if the Giants could keep all of their top prospects including Marco Luciano, Casey Schmitt, Wade Meckler, and Kyle Harrison while acquiring a desperately needed high-impact offensive presence, that would be a win in my book.
Part two to this equation is what it would cost the Giants to extend Alonso to keep him in San Francisco for the long term. Luckily, there is one recent contract given to 1B that set a clear idea of a long-term deal for Alonso.
Matt Olson, after being acquired from the Athletics, was given an 8-year $168 million contract in 2022. The AAV of $21 million is 45th in MLB. Olson was 28 years old, coming off a 5.8 bWAR season, and 11.8 bWAR over the three previous seasons (2020 included). Pete Alonso is currently 28 years old, coming off a 3.2 bWAR season, and 11.6 bWAR over the three previous seasons. The similarities between these two are astounding and giving Alonso an extension similar to what Olson received in 2022 makes a ton of sense for both sides. Alonso gets paid similarly to what a top tier 1B should get and the Giants get their superstar for close to the next decade and half the price of Aaron Judge.
This isn't the appeal of Alonso to the Giants, that much should be fairly obvious as one of the better power hitters in MLB. Instead, this is the appeal the Giants would have to others if they were to acquire Alonso. Farhan Zaidi and the Giants have made it clear they will be pursuing Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto this offseason.
What better way to show that you are serious about contending? There is little the Giants could do between now and the peak of free agency to increase their appeal to possible free agents. What they can do is hire a manager with a track record of success with a positive reputation (Craig Counsel anybody?) and acquire a player of Alonso's ability. Doing so would immediately send a message to a clubhouse and culture that has been far too comfortable with mediocrity. A message the Giants front office desperately needs to send.
Alonso is the perfect guy to become the new superstar of the San Francisco Giants. He should be available to acquire from the New York Mets, the cost would require a good bit of prospect capital but that is the price of doing business. He would fit seamlessly onto this Giants roster that really, desperately needs a power bat.
Not to mention, he brings a minimum 3 bWAR in every full season, minimal injury history, and an attitude that an elite power hitter has, something that hasn't been felt in San Francisco since Barry Bonds retired. The Giants are going to pursue Ohtani and Yamamoto in free agency this offseason. It's time to show them and San Francisco Giants fans that mediocrity is not acceptable.