Pete Alonso


Pete Alonso


Getty

Pete Alonso

The Houston Astros are 7 games below .500 headed into play on June 11, but they still could be buyers at the trade deadline. With Houston just 5.5 games out of a Wild Card spot, Bleacher Report’s Kerry Miller speculates the Astros could “double down” and trade for Pete Alonso of the New York Mets.

Alonso would fill a definite need at first base for the Astros. Jose Abreu is back in the Major Leagues but doesn’t appear to have turned his season around yet. In 12 games since he rejoined the club, he is hitting .180 with 10 strikeouts and just 1 walk over 40 at bats. Lefty Jon Singleton hasn’t been much better. In sporadic playing time, he’s batting .210 with a below-league-average OPS+ of 88.

As Miller points out, adding Alonso would instantly make him the team’s best first baseman — and one of the their best hitters overall.

“Though this hasn’t been the best slugging season of his career, the Polar Bear has 14 home runs and 30 total extra-base hits, both of which are better marks than any Astro not named Kyle Tucker can claim,” Miller wrote. “Getting that right-handed power bat into the heart of the order could be a major game-changer for a team that has been burying its first baseman at eighth in the order on a regular basis.”

This all depends on the Mets’ willingness to sell. Though rival GMs expect New York to be at the “epicenter” of the trade deadline market, that’s only provided they don’t go on a hot streak. Like the Astros, they’re toiling below .500, but are within striking distance of the Wild Card (3.5 games back).

The uncertainty is a byproduct of the expanded playoffs, keeping the regular season meaningful for more teams, but also leaving organizations in limbo even longer.


Pete Alonso May Be A Rental

Regardless of where Alonso goes — and GMs widely expect the Mets to trade him — he will likely only be a rental. Alonso signed a 1-year, $20.5 million deal with the Mets in the offseason, making him an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.

Reports have swirled that Alonso will probably re-sign with the Mets this coming offseason, a sentiment that Jim Bowden of The Athletic echoed on Tuesday.

“If the Mets trade Alonso, they will still make a concerted effort to re-sign him this offseason,” Bowden wrote. “They love the Polar Bear, and he loves New York.”

Money shouldn’t a concern for the Mets, either. They boast the highest payroll in baseball and Mets owner Steve Cohen is expected to stay aggressive this winter, maybe even going after Juan Soto of the New York Yankees.

With millions coming off the books this offseason (or sooner, if the Mets have a July fire-sale), Cohen could initiate a spending spree. In addition to Alonso, Jose Quintana, Luis Severino, Harrison Bader, Adrian Houser, and JD Martinez are all impending free agents.


The Mets and Astros Have Deadline History

A Pete Alonso trade to the Astros may be unlikely, but it wouldn’t be unprecedented. One need only look back a year to find the last deadline blockbuster between the two teams.

Last August 1, in the hours leading up to the trade deadline, the Mets dealt Justin Verlander back to his former team, enabling the Astros to make another playoff push and eventually a seventh-straight trip to the American League Championship Series.

In exchange, the Astros sent their top-ranked prospect, Drew Gilbert, to New York along with minor leaguer Ryan Clifford. Gilbert is currently in AAA but has not played since April 7 with a hamstring injury.



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