Mets' Pete Alonso reacts after hitting an RBI double to...

Mets' Pete Alonso reacts after hitting an RBI double to score Brandon Nimmo and break a 6-6 tie against the Texas Rangers during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Arlington, Texas.  Credit: AP/Julio Cortez

ARLINGTON, Texas — Last fall, after the immediate, immense excitement of winning the World Series subsided for Max Scherzer and the Rangers, Pete Alonso reached out to his friend and former teammate to catch up, the way friends and former teammates do.

The conversation “organically,” Alonso said, turned to their soon-to-be shared experience: navigating a contract year as a high-profile pending free agent.

Scherzer’s advice to the Mets’ first baseman was simple: Don't change a thing.

“Basically, he’s like, dude, it’s every other year,” Alonso said. “Nothing changes. Between your first year or any year for that matter, the only thing that changes are the external circumstances. The day-to-day stuff, you’re focused on winning and being the best version of yourself for your team and trying to win games.”

Scherzer’s version came a decade ago. He put together another All-Star season with the Tigers and cashed in with a seven-year, $210 million deal with the Nationals, an arrangement that worked out extremely well for both sides.

Now Alonso, the same age Scherzer was then, is doing the same. He even has the same agent, Scott Boras.

Scherzer’s wisdom jelled with Alonso’s initial thoughts.


“That’s kind of how I went about it, or how I was thinking about going about it,” Alonso said. “And that’s pretty much what he told me. Listen, nothing changes. Nothing changes in your preparedness, whatever. You’re just going out there trying to win games. It’s the same job. It’s true.”

Scherzer acknowledged talking about the topic with Alonso but declined to elaborate.

“If I talk, it’s only adding to the fire [of public attention on Alonso’s situation],” Scherzer said. “I don’t need to say a word. If I need to say anything to Pete, I’ll text Pete."

Regarding Alonso being the best version of himself: He hasn’t been quite as productive as usual. Entering play Wednesday, his average was up to .243, much better than the .217 mark from last year. But his .790 OPS was the lowest of his career. The on-pace-for numbers: 34 homers and 90 RBIs.

“I feel like I’ve been myself,” said Alonso, who has been better lately. “I’m doing a good job of trying to win baseball games and putting my efforts toward that. Performing and not performing, there’s ebbs and flows to the season. Over the course of the year, everything will even out and be where it’s supposed to be.”

Nido catches on

Two days after the Mets released him, Tomas Nido found a new team — and it happens to be the one the Mets are playing next.

Nido signed with the Cubs, who cut veteran Yan Gomes to make room for Nido on the major-league roster immediately.

The Mets open a three-game series with the Cubs in Chicago on Friday afternoon.

“Good for him. Good for him,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said. “Happy for him that he gets to join a big-league club and continue his career. Because he did a lot for this this organization and for this team.”

Nido, 30, spent 12 years in the organization, including parts of eight seasons in the majors. Gomes had been the backup to Miguel Amaya. The Cubs’ catchers collectively have been terrible offensively this year, so Nido — even as a defense-first backstop — and his recent production represent an upgrade.

“We’re just trying to get upgraded to give us more chances to win,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell told reporters in Chicago. “So the whole player for sure matters. The defensive part of it matters. He’s an excellent receiver. And that’s important. It’s the whole package, certainly.”

Extra bases

Kodai Senga (right shoulder strain) completed his bullpen session as expected Wednesday and is scheduled to advance to live batting practice — facing hitters — this weekend . . . Francisco Alvarez started at catcher for a third consecutive game, his first time doing so since returning from thumb surgery. Mendoza said he was comfortable pushing Alvarez because the Mets have a day off Thursday (as well as Monday). “He’s making it hard [to take him out of the lineup], too,” Mendoza said . . . An early look at how the Subway Series pitching matchups are lining up: Luis Severino versus Gerrit Cole on Tuesday, then Sean Manaea and Luis Gil on Wednesday.


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