The Mets and first baseman Pete Alonso have agreed to a $7.4MM salary to avoid arbitration, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN (Twitter link). That wraps up the first of three arb years for Alonso, who remains controllable through 2024.
Alonso’s salary is right in line with the $7.3MM figure projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz entering the offseason. It marks the first significant payday of his career, as he’d played the past few seasons on deals a bit above the league minimum. In both 2019 and 2021, Alonso earned more for winning the Home Run Derby ($1MM in each season) than he did in salary from the Mets.
That he’s a two-time defending Home Run Derby champ (the 2020 event was canceled due to the pandemic) speaks to the massive power he’s shown throughout his career. Alonso has hit 53 and 37 homers, respectively, in his two full seasons. He popped 16 more in the shortened 2020 season, a mark that tied for third in the National League. Altogether, he’s a .256/.347/.542 hitter as a big leaguer; he’s coming off a .262/.344/.519 showing last year.
The Mets recent run of arb agreements has brought their estimated 2022 commitments to a little under $277MM, in the estimation of Jason Martinez of Roster Resource. They have a competitive balance tax number in the $286MM range, just shy of the newly-instituted $290MM tier that triggers the highest level of penalization in the CBA. The Mets will pay a 20% tax on their first $20MM in overages, a 32% tax on their next $20MM and a 62.5% fee on any money spent between $270MM and $290MM. If they exceed $290MM, they’d be taxed at an 80% rate on any expenditures thereafter.