San Diego Padres rumors: Polar Bear sighting at Petco Park in 2024?

Bleacher Report recently listed New York Mets' first baseman Pete Alonso as a trade fit for the San Diego Padres.
Aug 17, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) hits a two run
Aug 17, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) hits a two run / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Pete Alonso and the New York Mets already made their yearly trip to Petco Park in San Diego this past July. But could the Polar Bear maintain a permanent residence there while donning a Padres uniform in 2024?

It's at least a possibility per Bleacher Report, which listed the Friars as a top-six potential trade destination for Pete Alonso next season should the Mets move off him. Rumors had been swirling at the trade deadline regarding the first baseman's availablity.

San Diego Padres rumors: Pete Alonso named as a potential trade target this offseason

Among the list of needs the San Diego Padres must address this winter, first base doesn't rank as highly as others including center field, designated hitter, the bullpen and the starting rotation. However, if a player of Pete Alonso's caliber does become available, it would be hard not to at least kick the tires on this idea.

Alonso's 2.7 fWAR and 133 wRC+, along with his quintessential home run power, would add significant thump to a Padres lineup that should already have said thump, but hasn't to that effect in 2023.

Let's take those aforementioned stats and add some context to them. For example, San Diego's combined first base fWAR in 2023 is less than one full win. That means Alonso's impact would be felt doubly if he were on this team.

Secondly, the Padres have received just eight (8) home runs from first basemen in 2023, the fewest in all of baseball. By comparison, Alonso had 37 going into play on August 18. Talk about an upgrade at a position that breeds natural pop.

So what would stand in the way of an Alonso trade to San Diego? The prospect package would obviously need to be discussed, but as Bleacher Report also points out, figuring out what to do with Jake Cronenworth would be another consideration.

Cronenworth has seen the bulk of the first base reps in San Diego this season, but his offensive output would suggest otherwise. Perhaps the Padres would be prepared to turn Cronenworth into an expensive utility man if they acquired Alonso. The club could also trade him in an Alonso deal knowing Mets owner Steve Cohen would eat money on his contract, or they could simply use the Polar Bear at DH and leave Cronenworth at first base as Bleacher Report suggests.

Regardless of San Diego's chosen path, there would be options. But one thing we know for sure? Pete Alonso would make for a powerful addition to the 2024 Padres.