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Even though pitchers and catchers will be reporting to spring-training sites soon enough, a number of notable free agents and potential trade targets remain available. That, in turn, means an ongoing supply of daily rumors. Speaking of which, Wednesday's supply is just below. 

Stearns says Mets interested in keeping Alonso

One of the most pressing forward-looking questions facing the Mets is the status of star first baseman and fan favorite Pete Alonso. The All-Star slugger is entering his walk year in 2024, which raises the possibility that this upcoming season could be his final one with the Mets. It also raises the possibility that the Mets under new president of baseball operations David Stearns will work out an extension to keep Alonso in a Mets uniform. 

Stearns on Wednesday addressed that matter on Foul Territory and said the following

"Best thing for us is for Pete to have a great year and best thing for Pete is for Pete to have a great year. And we'll go forward from there. But we're certainly invested in trying to keep Pete a Met, and I'm hopeful that over time we'll be able to work that out."

Alonso, a Mets lifer, is going into his age-29 campaign. Across parts of five MLB seasons, he's averaged 45 home runs per 162 games played. 

Mets, J.D Martinez in talks

The New York Mets have had discussions with free-agent batsman J.D. Martinez, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Martinez, 36, is coming off a highly productive 2023 season as the Dodgers' primary DH, albeit one in which he was limited by back, hamstring, and groin injuries. Coming into the current offseason, CBS Sports ranked Martinez as the No. 22 available free agent. Here's part of our write-up: 

This ranking may seem unkind given Martinez just put forth another monster season at the plate. Teams make a point of paying for what is and what will be, not for what was -- that's important here because they may find a few hints of decline in Martinez's game as he heads into his age-36 season. Most notably, he struck out a career-worst rate, a development fueled by him whiffing on more than 45% of his swings on non-fastballs. Martinez still hit the ball extremely hard when he connected, and that allowed him to overcome the uptick in empty swings and strikeouts. Perhaps that will remain the case for at least another season. You can understand, though, if teams find themselves preferring some of the market's other DH options. 

Presently, the Mets are probably looking at a DJ Stewart/Mark Vientos platoon at DH, so Martinez would promise theoretical improvement over that arrangement. 

Players winning arbitration hearings thus far

It's arbitration-hearing season in MLB. For the uninitiated, players with between three and five years (two years in some rarer cases) have their salaries determined via arbitration if they're unable to come to an agreement with their clubs. Most arb-eligible players settle with their teams before it comes time for a hearing, but every winter some players make it all the way to the arbitration panel. The setup is "single offer" in nature. That means the player and the club each submit a proposed salary for the upcoming season, and the arbitration panel, after hearing arguments from both sides, selects one figure or the other. There's no averaging the two submitted figures or coming up with their own salary. This provides incentive for both player and team to put forth realistic salary proposals. 

This time around, the players are off to a hot start, as the Associated Press reports. Indeed the player side is presently 5-2 vs. teams this offseason with 11 cases still scheduled (salary agreements are still possible right up until the moment a hearing begins). As the AP notes, Orioles OF Austin Hays, Orioles RHP Jacob Webb, Angels OF Taylor Ward, Astros INF/OF Mauricio Dubon, and Mets RHP Phil Bickford all prevailed in their Tuesday hearings to push the players well in front. The teams clocked their pair of wins against Marlins OF Jazz Chisholm and Angels lefty Jose Suarez.