Mets infielder Pete Alonso looks on during a spring training...

Mets infielder Pete Alonso looks on during a spring training workout Saturday in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Pete Alonso expressed all of his usual sentiments Saturday regarding his pending free agency, including that he loves playing in New York, he is proud to be with the Mets and he has imagined what it would be like to stay with them for his entire career.

He did not say, however, that that is what he wants.

Asked directly whether he definitively desires to be a Met forever, Alonso maxed out at something other than a simple yes.

“I definitely have envisioned myself being a lifelong Met,” he said. “That’s something I’ve definitely thought about. I love New York. It’s a really special place for my family and I. I’ve definitely thought of the idea and welcomed the idea. But I can’t predict the future.”

That was among the highlights of Alonso’s upbeat and genial but careful 17-minute news conference on his first day at Mets camp. He opened the question-and-answer session by announcing a new charitable endeavor — $1,000 from The Alonso Foundation to animal rescue organizations for every home run he hits — but it centered around his contract status.

This is Alonso’s last year under the Mets’ contractual control before he is scheduled to reach the open market, but he

and the club have had zero conversations about a long-term deal, he revealed.

Their only talks on the topic came last month, when they avoided arbitration with a one-year, $20.5 million contract for 2024.

“We sat and listened, and the only thing we talked about was the one-year deal,” he said.

Alonso referenced that passive approach — sitting back and waiting, ready to listen — several times. His agent, Scott Boras, mentioned it early in the offseason, too.

Given his professed love for New York, the Mets and the fans, why not be more proactive?

“That’s just what I think is right,” he said.

Does part of him wonder if the Mets would deal him if they are not in playoff contention at the trade deadline?

“Well, I mean, that’s a lot to think about,” he said. “I just had my first live BP session.”

Alonso did not expound on his decision to hire Boras as his new agent in October, saying: “I just thought that Scott and his team are just the best representation for myself and my family. That’s it.”

Altogether, Alonso’s comments lined up with what president of baseball operations David Stearns said at the start of the week: Alonso reaching free agency is the most likely outcome. See what happens then.

Everybody involved seems fine with that.

“Definitely we welcome conversation,” Alonso said. “But hey, listen, I’m stoked to be here. I’m really, really excited and I’m proud to play for New York. I’m proud to be a Met.”

He added that he is not setting a deadline for these talks — not that there are any signs that the talks will exist at all.

Some players, such as Francisco Lindor in 2021, want a deal done by, say, Opening Day, seeking to avoid the potential in-season distraction.

“No pressure. I’m just here sitting back and listening,” Alonso said. “I can’t reiterate this enough: My whole focus of this spring training is to get prepared to be the best version of myself for the season. That’s the sole purpose. Throughout this year, I’m going to be as locked in as I possibly can, as I am every year, and I want to be the best competitor and teammate I possibly can. That’s my full focus.”

The rest of Alonso’s day looked a lot like any other at spring training. He took a few swings, signed a few autographs, fielded a few ground balls. Before the last of those activities, he chatted with new manager Carlos Mendoza — a former infielder and infield coach — about the technical aspects of playing first base.

Mendoza engaged Alonso, with Mark Vientos also present, on that subject in a way he mostly hasn’t with other infielders in these opening days of camp. They discussed footwork, holding runners and getting around the bag.

“It’s me getting to know them,” Mendoza said, “and especially Pete.”

A witness to Aaron Judge’s preseason contract negotiations, ensuing 62-homer season and eventual $360 million deal in 2022, the former Yankees bench coach is not sweating out Alonso playing with the pressure of a contract year.

“This is a guy who has been in New York, one of the biggest stages there is in sports, and he’s performed,” Mendoza said. “He’s one of the best players in the league.”


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