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Pete Alonso on potential contract extension with Mets: 'I've definitely welcomed the idea, but I can't predict the future'

One of, if not the biggest storylines surrounding the 2024 Mets is if the team will strike a deal with star first baseman Pete Alonso on a long-term contract extension.

Alonso and the Mets agreed to a one-year, $20.5 million deal on January 11 to avoid arbitration and keep him in New York for at least the 2024 season. Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns said earlier in February that the franchise is "invested" in keeping Alonso in New York, but noted this past week that he's "most likely" to hit free agency.

The 29-year-old met with media Saturday for the first time at spring training in Port St. Lucie, and was greeted with questions about his future after announcing that for every home run he hits in 2024, The Alonso Foundation will donate $1K to animal shelters.

"Right now, I feel really blessed that I get to be a part of this 2024 squad," Alonso said. "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.

"And playing in an iconic city like New York, I mean, it's really a blessing. It's a great place to play. The fans are awesome. I love it. Again, I'm just really blessed to be here."

If Alonso were to sign an extension, it'll likely make him a lifelong Met. The three-time All-Star went on to say that idea has crept into his mind before, and is very open to it, but his current focus is on the upcoming season.

"I love it here. I definitely have envisioned myself as a lifelong Met. That's something I've definitely thought about. And I love New York, it's a really special place for my family and I. 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 was then asked about Stearns' comments on playing out the season before agreeing to a contract extension and if he is comfortable with that approach.

"For me right now, I've just been sitting back and listening," Alonso said. "The only contract matters that we talked about were my one-year contract this year. Again, I'm very happy that I'm back with this group. I'm stoked to get this year going, it's an exciting time in spring."

Although, the star would go on to make it clear that he is not setting a deadline of any sorts and is open to negotiating a deal throughout the 2024 season.

When asked about his knowledge of extension talks with the Mets, Alonso made it clear they have only discussed the one-year contract he agreed to last month.

"We sat and listened, and the only thing we talked about was the one-year deal."

As for Alonso's idea of free agency, he hasn't given it much thought.

"I don't really know because I'm not there. I'm not there yet," Alonso said. "Right now, I'm just focused on this year. I'm just focused on preparing for a season, preparing to play 162 regular season games, and earn the right to be in the postseason.

"For me, I just want to be the best I can be every day. I can't really think about being a free agent because I'm simply not there yet. I'm just totally focused on being the best I can be for the guys in the clubhouse, the coaching staff, and the organization."

He was even asked about the possibility of being traded at the deadline, but made reporters laugh by saying, "That's a lot to think about, I just had my first live BP session."

The first baseman would go on to talk about learning from veteran teammates over his five seasons in New York, but noted they never discussed what free agency is like.

"I think a lot of my teammates in the past, from Todd Frazier, Robbie Cano, and obviously having Max [Scherzer], [Justin] Verlander, and a ton of the veteran guys as I've progressed throughout my career. We've never really talked about free agency or anything like that. The only thing we've talked about is nothing changes. You come in and do your job.

"For me, my job is to give the best four or five at-bats I possibly can every night, play the best first base that I can be, be a good teammate, run the bases well. That's my job, and that doesn't really change no matter where I'm at in my career. My job is the same, and that's to do my part to the best of my ability and help the team win, that's really it."

Alonso rounded out the media availability by reiterating that his only focus is on being the best baseball player he can be, and believes this Mets team can fight hard to earn a spot in the postseason.

"My whole focus is to be the best I can be," Alonso said. "Be as locked in mentally and physically to help this team win. That's my job."

He later added: "Earn your spot after 162 and see what happens in October. I definitely think with what we have, we can make a playoff spot."