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Mets owner Steve Cohen: ‘We want to keep’ Pete Alonso

With Pete Alonso entering his final year of team control before hitting free agency, a contract extension for the Mets’ slugger has been at the forefront of everybody’s mind.

And that includes owner Steve Cohen.

“We want to keep him,” Cohen said in a preview of the Mets’ new official podcast.

“He’s an important part of our team today and hopefully in the future,” Cohen continued. “We know the fans feel strongly about him, and I’m not tone-deaf. I totally understand the fans’ love of Pete.

“I hope he hits 55 home runs and makes it so difficult on me in free agency. I would call that a great outcome.”

President of baseball operations David Stearns acknowledged at the start of camp that "the most likely outcome" would be Alonso hitting the open market at the end of the season.

"Look, when you have a really talented player, who's really good, who's entering his final year of club control, who happens to be represented by Scott Boras, these things generally end up into free agency and we understand that," Stearns explained.

Stearns added that the club is "certainly invested in keeping Pete a Met and I’m hopeful, over time, we’ll be able to work that out."

After Alonso arrived at spring training last week, the first baseman said that while his focus is on the upcoming season, the thought of being a Met for life has entered his mind as he loves “playing in an iconic city like New York.”

"I love it here. I definitely have envisioned myself as a lifelong Met. That's something I've definitely thought about,” he said. “And I love New York, it's a really special place for my family and [me].

"I've definitely thought of the idea and I've definitely welcomed the idea, but I can't predict the future. For me, I just want to focus on this season. I just want to be the best person I can be."

Alonso added: "Right now, I feel really blessed that I get to be a part of this 2024 squad. I think we have a really good team. I'm super excited to get this spring training underway. We have a great group. I'm really excited, I'm really excited to be here.”

Of course, Cohen is expected to make a strong move to retain Alonso, and possibly impending Yankees free agent Juan Soto, too.

“I bet he goes for both,” one league executive who knows Cohen but does not work for the team, recently told SNY’s MLB Insider Andy Martino.