If the New York Mets make Pete Alonso available for trade, the Cubs are convinced they can bring him to Wrigley
On Thursday, ESPN’s Jesse Rogers — citing sources familiar with the Cubs’ — reported that if the Mets make Alonso available, the Cubs believe they can use Christopher Morel “as a centerpiece player in return.”
Morel is a young player who made his way through the Cubs minor league system. Morel is only 24-years-old and he has legitimate value. He’s making close to the league minimum and is under team control through at least 2027.
But there are major downsides to Morel’s game.
Morel won’t be good enough to land Pete Alonso
Morel had a solid year as a power hitter in 2023. In 2023 Morel recorded a slash line of .247/.313/.508. with 26 homers in 107 games. .
One big issue is his strikeout rate. He strikes out at a prodigious rate, having fanned 270 times in 220 career games. That comes out to a rate of 31.6 percent. For comparison, Alonso — who has his fair share of strikeouts — has a career K rate of 22.3 percent.
Another concern is that Morel hasn’t found a defined position on the field.
He was a DH about half the time in 2023, and played all over the diamond the rest of the time as the Cubs tried to find a defensive home for him. But he was a negative defender at third base and all three outfield positions. Overall, he was worth -7 OAA.
Overall takeaway from this report
With all of those flaws considered, Morel is still very young. He has the chance to develop and turn some of his weaknesses into strengths. Is that “what if” scenario good enough for the Mets to trade Pete Alonso? Most likely, that is not the case. But it is something to think about.
It seems more unlikely everyday that the Mets will deal Pete Alonso this offseason. And if they do, they will almost certainly want a better “centerpiece” than Morel.
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