We’ll stop short of saying that New York Mets star first baseman Pete Alonso is recruiting potential AL MVP Shohei Ohtani to the Big Apple.
With that said, what Alonso told the media from the site of the MLB All-Star Game in Southern California on Monday is interesting.
Alonso was asked about Ohtani and the potential that he could land with the Mets at some point. He did not hold back in either his praise for the two-way Los Angeles Angels star or the fact that he’d welcome Ohtani to Queens.
In another unnamed league, this would actually qualify as tampering. But we’ve seen players recruit colleagues who are under contract with other teams. Apparently, it’s not much of an issue for MLB.
One of the game’s best players, Ohtani is under team control through the 2023 season. If he’s unable to come to terms with the Angels on an extension, the 28-year-old two-way star will hit free agency the following winter.
Pete Alonso “recruits” Shohei Ohtani despite his own contract issues
While not necessarily as time sensitive as Ohtani’s situation with the Angels, it must be noted that Alonso is playing under his first year of arbitration in 2022. He’s earning a mere $7.4 million and could hit free agency following the 2024 season.
- Pete Alonso stats (2022): .265 average, 24 HR, 78 RBI, .863 OPS
With his Mets already linked to Washington Nationals star Juan Soto in trade talks, it’s not a surprise that questions would come up regarding Ohtani.
Mets owner Steve Cohen has one of the deepest pockets in North American professional sports with a net worth of $17.4 billion. For their part, the Mets have the second-highest payroll in baseball behind the Los Angeles Dodgers at $259 million.
If Ohtani were to hit the open market, he’d likely be looking at the richest contract in the history of Major League Baseball.
Shohei Ohtani stats (2022): .258 average, 19 HR, 56 RBI, 10 SB, .835 OPS, 9-4 record, 2.38 ERA, 0.99 WHIP
Last season saw Ohtani hit 46 homers while driving in 100 runs. He also pitched to a 9-2 record with a 3.18 ERA in 23 starts en route to earning the AL MVP award.
As for Pete Alonso, it’s not yet known whether New York adding a big name like Soto or Ohtani would impact his future in the Big Apple. Right now, that seems to be the least of his concerns.