MIAMI — Pete Alonso has been at the center of the rumor mill all season long. The Mets can’t quite figure out why it suddenly seems to spin out of control when it comes to the Polar Bear, but the club’s first baseman has taken it in stride, tuning out the noise.
The Mets emphatically denied a Wednesday report by an SI.com team blog saying Alonso is seeking a 10-year contract. Shortly after it was published, general manager Billy Eppler issued a statement, denying the contract demands.
“While we understand the media and public interest in player contract situations, we strongly believe in keeping those conversations private,” Eppler said. “Any circulating reports do not accurately reflect our conversations with Pete.”
Max Scherzer named Alonso as a player the club was looking to trade at the deadline. The Milwaukee Brewers, knowing former president of baseball operations David Stearns was on his way to New York, retaliated by leaking the details of the trade that was nearly agreed upon. There was speculation that the 29-year-old homegrown power hitter would be traded over the winter.
And in between all of that, Alonso, who has one more year of team control before becoming a free agent, has been called a “clubhouse cancer” by a radio host who hadn’t even spent any time in the clubhouse.
If it hasn’t been one thing, it’s been another. Alonso, for his part, is not paying attention.
“Any off-field matter, I haven’t really prioritized,” Alonso said Wednesday at LoanDepot Park. “I’m really just trying to play the best to my ability this season. I’ve just been fully concentrating on the season and performing at a high level, or at the highest level that I can perform. I owe that to my teammates, I owe that to this organization and I owe that to the fans.”
Alonso, who has 45 home runs this season, reiterated his commitment to the Mets and called New York “home” for him and his wife, Haley.
“I love it here,” he said. “I love New York. It’s been such a blessing and an honor to be a part of this organization. New York, doesn’t feel like home — it is home for me and my family. It just means so much.”
Alonso’s accolades are numerous. He set the franchise’s single-season home run record with 53 in 2019, en route to taking home NL Rookie of the Year honors. He’s a two-time All-Star and a two-time Home Run Derby winner. He’s the fourth player in Mets history to record three or more seasons with 100 or more RBIs.
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