The guy who sets the market for Rhys? (He'll be well behind I'm sure, but Alonso's ceiling would raise his floor.)
A little shy of a year ago, our Tim Britton analyzed the potential parameters of a reasonable deal for both the Mets and Alonso. The figure he settled on was eight years and $160 million.
Since then, two major things have happened:
1. Alonso put together another strong campaign in 2022. He hit 40 home runs with an .869 OPS. He led the National League in RBI and his 143 wRC+ was the 12th-best in the sport.
2. The market went a bit bonkers.
One of the closest comps to Alonso, per Baseball-Reference, is Braves first baseman Matt Olson. Atlanta inked him to an eight-year, $162 million contract heading into last season. Like Alonso now, Olson was then heading into his second year of arbitration. Olson had made $5 million in his first year of arbitration with Oakland before Atlanta acquired him and offered the extension. His lack of significant earnings made the guaranteed nine-figure deal sound more appealing.
Alonso made $7.4 million in his first year of arbitration and will earn another $14.5 million this coming season. He is close enough to free agency that the team would likely have to pay a premium to get him to forgo an opportunity to explore the open market. The standard for average annual value among first basemen has been set by Freddie Freeman ($27 million) and Paul Goldschmidt ($26 million). Alonso is not quite the same caliber of player, but let’s put him somewhere in the $24 million to $25 million range for AAV. That means an eight-year deal would land somewhere between $192 million and $200 million.
The inimitable Jim Duquette, former Mets GM, recently projected on SNY that a deal between Alonso and the Mets would work at eight years and $240 million. That feels high to me, but maybe that’s a better reflection of the current market.