Could Pete Alonso and Juan Soto Trade Places in Free Agency?

The two top bats in the 2025 free agent class share a lot in common. Could Pete Alonso and Juan Soto trade boroughs in New York this winter?

DENVER, CO - JULY 12: Pete Alonso of the New York Mets hugs Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals after Alonso advanced to the final round during the 2021 T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Coors Field on July 12, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Today, Juan Soto is going to step into the batter’s box at Citi Field wearing pinstripes for the first time, getting to enjoy his first of what could be many Subway Series in the future.

Soto has been everything the Yankees could have asked for this season, as he plays out his final year before entering free agency this offseason. The 25-year-old superstar will soon become the most coveted man in the sport, looking to sign a deal that is even more valuable (present day value at least) than the monstrous contract Shohei Ohtani signed with the Dodgers.

How far he is able to push the envelope on that deal could very well depend on a man that will be watching down from the owner’s suite this weekend. And that man is Steve Cohen.

It has long been speculated that the Mets would pursue Soto aggressively once he hit free agency, and one year in the Bronx probably won’t change that. Cohen has the pocketbook to submit a big offer to Soto and his agent Scott Boras.

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What makes this situation all the more complicated, however, is the fact that Boras also represents Mets star first baseman Pete Alonso. The three-time All-Star is due to hit the market with Soto at year’s end.

There is been much-debate about Alonso’s future in New York, as he has been one of the most talked about players heading into this year’s trade deadline. Could Alonso have a long future ahead in New York, but one that takes place across town?

It might sound crazy on the surface, but today, I am going to walk you through the scenario that not only lands Juan Soto with the New York Mets, but has Alonso trading places with him and signing with the New York Yankees.

Juan Soto Sets the Market and Signs First

When we look back at this past offseason, it is fair to say that Scott Boras was embarrassed by how the market turned on his clients. The old “wait out the market” strategy did not pan out, and most of his biggest clients were forced to take deals that were for far-less than had been projected at the beginning of the offseason.

While you can point a lot of fingers as to why those players weren’t signed to more lucrative deals, one reality that can’t be ignored with the 2024 class is that it was a relatively weak one in terms of top-tier free agents.

Blake Snell was coming off a Cy Young, but has been rather inconsistent throughout his career.

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Cody Bellinger had a huge bounce back season in 2023, but there were multiple down years he was bouncing back from.

If you compare the names of last year’s class to Juan Soto, Pete Alonso, Alex Bregman and Corbin Burnes, it is clear that Boras will be playing the market with a much better hand this time around. In doing so, he will be looking to shake off any notion that he is past his prime as an agent.

Considering his age and production up to this point, Soto is the most important domino to fall for Boras, as he is the free agent that can clear half a billion dollars with ease. A superstar who is all but guaranteed to be an elite hitter for the next decade is very hard to come by.

The Yankees will be the favorites to sign him, but don’t expect Soto to take a hometown discount either. If the offers are close to the same, Soto probably remains in the Bronx, but if there is a $50 million difference or more, do you really believe a Boras-led client is not going to take the top offer?

This is where Soto and the Mets being linked cannot be ignored, because Steve Cohen is the one owner who might be eager enough to outbid the Yankees by such a margin.

While the Mets have done very well in free agency under Cohen’s tenure, they have hit in the aging ace market more than anywhere else. They traded for Francisco Lindor, and extended him on a huge contract, but they have yet to land the big fish when it comes to a star free agent hitter.

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Soto is everything the Mets have been waiting for and more. Similar to what David Stearns represented in the front office. If Cohen were to purse Soto in similar fashion, there is every chance he’d be willing to keep bidding until he won the prize, no matter what the cost.

One change that we have seen in the market when it comes to Boras clients over the last few years is that team owners no longer engage with him on discussions, deferring to their front office to handle all negotiations. This is important, because Boras’ old trick was always to go above the head of the front office and go right to the man who was going to write his client that fat check.

While other owners have refrained from communicating with Boras, Cohen has instead taken the other route.

Cohen has said in the past that he welcomes conversations with Boras, because he finds them to be engaging. Now, Cohen still defers to his baseball people, having said as much, but his being involved in the dialogue in any way could open the door for a hot pursuit of Soto.

While they play different positions, Soto and Alonso very much overlap each other, being superstar free agents who are looking for long-term deals in New York City.

On one hand, the Mets could re-sign Alonso and sign Soto, but that is going to cost a ton of money. Also, while Soto has played better in the outfield this year, there is every chance he ends up moving to DH at some point in his career.

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Or for all we know, Soto could even find himself following the Bryce Harper path again and maybe he moves to first base in a few years. Point being, Soto is a better version of Alonso and they have overlapping traits. Both are bat-first players, who are going to get paid a large sum of money for the elite production they have provided prior to hitting the open market.

If there is a team that could pay for both, it is probably Cohen’s Mets, but don’t count on him footing that bill if the team is better off spending those resources in another way down the line.

For the purpose of this exercise, we are assuming the Mets are the top bidder and they win out a war with their crosstown rival for the services of Soto. Let’s say this is the news of the Winter Meetings, while Alonso is one deck as the next domino to fall among Boras’ clients.

How Alonso Ends Up in Pinstripes

Now we are living in a Soto-less world for the Yankees, and they have all of this money set aside to spend on a bat. They could look to Alex Bregman to play third base, but why not search closer to home?

After watching the Mets steal Soto out from under their nose, the Yankees could retaliate by pouching Alonso from the Mets. Talk about sparking a crosstown rivalry.

Soto is the more natural compliment to Judge being the better on-base threat, and just overall being the better hitter/player, but having two sluggers who could each hit 50 is a pretty tantalizing fallback plan for the Yankees.

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Alonso knows how to play in New York, can slide right into a position of need at first base (apologies to Anthony Rizzo and currently Ben Rice) and would come a lot cheaper than Soto.

In fact, if you were just looking at an allocation of resources for a team that is living on the edge of the luxury tax system, Alonso might even be a better contractual fit for the Yankees than Soto.

Instead of a contract that starts at $35 million a year, and only if it spans 13+ seasons, Alonso could be had for half, if not a third of that total guaranteed money.

A successful trip to free agency for Alonso is landing a contract that starts with a 2, while Soto’s ideal contract probably starts with a 5. Now with Soto set to hit free agency at 26, four years younger than Alonso at 30, there is justification for that contract discrepancy. But it exists all the same.

Don’t get it twisted, the Yankees can afford to re-sign Soto and are still the favorites. But in a world where Steve Cohen has upset the applecart and has won the bidding, Alonso is maybe the one bat in free agency that could make up for some of that lost run production.

How Would Each Fan Base React to the Swap?

Here is the one scenario where the Mets land the best player in free agency and fans still feel left unhappy in the end. Outside of maybe the Braves or the Phillies, the Yankees are the last place Mets fans want to see their homegrown star land in free agency.

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Alonso broke Aaron Judge’s rookie home run record as a Met, a moment the fan base celebrated triumphantly. Now six years later, they’d have to watch them team up in the Bronx?!

Getting to enjoy Francisco Lindor and Juan Soto in the Mets lineup is something fans have been dreaming about for years, and yet Alonso going to the Yankees would somehow become the lead story. Just imagine if Soto then starts of 2025 in a slump, while Alonso gets off to red-hot start?

Lindor is well-versed in trying to win back fan approval in New York after a slow start and it is an uphill battle for sure.

Now this is not to paint this as a complete win for the Yankees. They are losing Soto in this transaction and that is a tough pill to swallow. The difference is that Yankees fans have been preparing themselves for that reality ever since they traded for Soto as a rental.

While Soto is a Yankee right now, he is nowhere near as engrained into the fabric of that franchise as Alonso is with the Mets. Getting to stick Alonso back in the face of Mets fans, is just the kind of consolation prize that can make up for the loss of Soto.

Especially when you still have Aaron freaking Judge.

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In the grand scheme of things, whoever lands Juan Soto this offseason is going to be the biggest winner in free agency. Whether that is the Yankees, Mets, or any of the other handful of teams who can even afford him.

Still, there is a world where the two biggest superstars in the 2025 free agent class trade places. And that is a world ripe with drama that can carry New York baseball for years to come.