The unique thing about baseball is that it is both an individual and team game. A player's performance contributes to the overall success of the team. On the other hand, when players don't perform to the back of their baseball card, it can be detrimental to a team's overall goals. This year, we saw Teoscar Hernandez, Kolton Wong, AJ Pollock, and Ty France all having substandard seasons. All those players are out the door except France, who vows to spend time at Driveline this offseason. Now, that's all fine and dandy, but what if the Mariners could upgrade at first base by acquiring an actual power threat, Pete Alonso?
There's been smoke centered around the Mets' inability to lock in their star first baseman to a long-term deal. Alonso has one more season remaining on his current contract, and he's playing for a team that has publicly said they are building for 2025. Lastly, he is a Scott Boras client, which means an extension is off the table for the Mets AND the possible acquiring team. That all adds up to a lower possible cost for one of the more dependable middle-of-the-order bats in the league.
Alonso has the type of bat that could cut through the Marine Layer hovering over T-Mobile Park. Heck, he's overcome playing at the pitcher-friendly Citi Field for the past five years, averaging around 40 homers a season. However, there is a downside to acquiring the man affectionately named the Polar Bear. His 2023 campaign was alarming, mainly because it included a .217 average dragged down thanks to a .205 BABIP. Despite the low average, Alonso still accumulated 2.8 WAR.
Another thing to remember is Alonso's elite defense at the cold corner. This season, he ranked 4th in Major League Baseball in first basemen defensive runs saved (6). We all know that Jerry Dipoto built the Mariners as a run-prevention team, and defense plays a role.
All that said, could or, in this case, should the Mariners trade for Pete Alonso this offseason? It depends on their faith in Ty France rebounding to his career norms (127 swRC+). If Driveline's effect on J.P. Crawford is anything like what we could see from France in 2024, I'd vote to avoid Alonso like the plague. Let someone else overbid on the Polar Bear; the Mariners have more holes to fill than the cold corner.