We're not even a full 48 hours into the offseason (at least for the Cubs) and, already, we have our first Cubs rumors. On 670 WSCR Monday, Bruce Levine dropped the bomb that he's hearing the team has its eyes set on Mets slugging first baseman Pete Alonso, saying Chicago is going to 'do everything it can' to bring his power bat into the fold this offseason.
Alonso, who turns 29 in December, is fresh off another impressive campaign in the Big Apple, in which he smacked 46 home runs and drove in 118 runs, Of course, his detractors will point out the fact he batted just .217 - but there's no questioning his run-producing ability in the heart of the order.
It's an interesting brain excercise, if nothing else. The Mets, as we all know, missed the postseason entirely, despite an all-time MLB record payroll in 2023 - and have already parted ways with their manager, Buck Showalter, and brought in former Brewers exec David Stearns as their new president of baseball operations.
Now, for what it's worth, Stearns has already made public comments on this matter, throwing cold water (at least for the time being) on the idea of Alonso being moved this winter. But when you factor in reports that Alonso was very unhappy about Showalter's dismissal, there might be more wiggle room there than Stearns led on in his introductory press conference at Citi Field.
"I expect Pete to be the Opening Day first baseman next year. Pete’s an important member of this team. He’s an important member of this organization. And I think we’re really fortunate to have him."- David Stearns on Pete Alonso
Now, Alonso isn't a long-term asset. He's heading into his final year of arbitration after earning a $14.5 million salary in 2023. The Cubs aren't going to come off someone like Pete Crow-Armstrong or Cade Horton, but could look to tap into their outfield prospect depth to pull something together.
Cubs need to add more offensive firepower in 2024
The Cubs offense was fairly potent this year, scoring more runs than all but two NL teams. But its biggest weapon, Cody Bellinger, is a free agent - and his future with the team is uncertain. For Chicago to bridge the gap between itself and, say, the Braves, would mean bringing back Bellinger, the likely NL Comeback Player of the Year and adding someone like Alonso to the mix.
Logistically, there are just a ton of moving parts on this thing. Stearns is new in his role and with the organization and will have to toe the line between keeping the Mets on a competitive path in the semi-near future and putting his fingerprints on the roster (without alienating a fanbase that thought this season would end with a championship). Alonso is on an expiring contract and the last deal between these two clubs wound up being an absolute fleecing, when Chicago sent Javier Baez to New York in exchange for Crow-Armstrong.
On paper, a 3-4 punch of Bellinger and Alonso would be among the most formidable in the sport. Being able to actually pull it off, without sacrificing the long-term, bigger picture, will be a delicate balancing act. But I'm sure there will be plenty of such scenarios headed our way in the months to come.