The Mets set their Opening Day roster on Wednesday, and it correctly includes Pete Alonso. Service time nonsense be damned!
This is a very positive development if only because it shows there is finally honesty coming from the front office. Brodie Van Wagenen said he would take the best 25 men North, and Alonso proved he is one of them. Remember when another Mets GM would say something and then go back on it?
It is also obviously a smart baseball move. Alonso gives the Mets a better chance to win. Imagine if they kept him down on the farm for three weeks, the Mets get off to a slow start, then pick up when he joins the team and they miss the playoffs by a game or two. That would be terrible.
A similar thing happened to the Angels in 2012. They kept Mike Trout in the minors for most of April. They were 6-14 when he joined the team. They would finish the season 89-73, due in no small part to Trout’s boost to the team. They missed the playoffs by four games. Would Trout have made up that difference? We’ll never know.
Another reason this is the right move — if Pete Alonso is the player the Mets think he is, they would likely buy out his first few free agency years (as the Angels did with Trout), making the point moot.
And finally, the new CBA will be negotiated in a few years, and major changes are likely in store to stop this service time manipulation. So again, the point might be moot.
In any case, Pete Alonso will be the Opening Day first baseman, as he should be.