The Chicago Cubs just missed the playoffs in 2023 and are looking to take the next step forward after re-signing Cody Bellinger in MLB free agency. Chicago still has some uncertainty on their roster heading into the new campaign, however. So would trading for New York Mets star first baseman Pete Alonso solve Chicago's problems?

The Cubs were linked to Alonso prior to the 2023 trade deadline. Chicago was mentioned as a possible suitor once again this past offseason.

Why would the Mets even entertain an Alonso trade? He is set to hit free agency following the 2024 season. Unless a contract extension comes to fruition, New York will need to face the harsh reality that 2024 may be Alonso's final season with the ball club. New York could try to re-sign him next offseason, but they would be facing no shortage of competition.

Of course, the Mets could always wait until this year's trade deadline to discuss a potential deal. By then, however, Alonso's trade value will greatly diminish, as any team that acquires him would only have one guaranteed half-season with the first baseman.

The Mets would receive a quality trade package if they opt to deal him away before the 2024 season, though. And the Cubs have enough enticing trade pieces to catch New York's attention.

Potential Cubs-Mets Pete Alonso trade

New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) flies out to end the game against the Philadelphia Phillies during the ninth inning at Citi Field.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Prospect rankings via

Mets receive: RHP Cade Horton (MLB's 2024 No. 26 overall prospect), INF Michael Busch (MLB's 2024 No. 51 overall prospect), LHP Jordan Wicks (Cubs 2023 No. 10 overall prospect)

Cubs receive: 1B Pete Alonso

Horton was the Cubs No. 2 overall prospect in 2024, via Meanwhile, Wicks was Chicago's No. 10 prospect a season ago. Michael Busch was a highly-regarded prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system before getting acquired by the Cubs this past offseason.

Of course, New York would likely inquire about Chicago's top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong, but the odds of the Cubs dealing him away are virtually non-existent. There is reason to be excited about Horton and the others, though.

Breaking down Mets' trade return

Cade Horton's best pitch is his slider, while his fastball is continuing to develop. He also features a curveball and changeup. Horton's MLB ETA is set for 2024, so he could realistically help the Cubs, or the Mets if this trade comes to fruition, this season. Horton has the potential to become a big league All-Star and would be the Mets' primary acquisition in this potential trade.

Michael Busch made his MLB debut with the Dodgers in 2023. He's a versatile infielder who offers impressive hitting ability. Busch also offers some power from the left-side of the plate. The Dodgers probably didn't want to move him but they were left with no choice given their stacked roster.

The Cubs also wouldn't be the biggest fans of trading him away, but to acquire a star like Pete Alonso it may be worth it. Busch is another player who is big league ready and could become a core player for New York.

Finally, 24-year-old Jordan Wicks is currently battling for a spot on the Cubs Opening Day roster. His best pitch is a changeup, and he also throws a fastball, curveball, and slider. Wicks isn't a flame-throwing left-hander but he relies on deception and good breaking stuff, something that can cause hitters to be off-balance in today's game.

How Pete Alonso would fit with Cubs

New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) prepares to bat during the third inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs have first base depth on their roster at the moment. Michael Busch, who would be moved if this specific trade became a reality, Cody Bellinger, Patrick Wisdom, Matt Mervis, and Christoper Morel can all play the position if necessary. With that being said, Alonso would instantly become Chicago's best first base option if the Cubs acquire him, as Bellinger can also play the outfield.

Alonso, 29, offers plenty of power. He blasted 46 home runs in 2023 and 40 home runs in 2022. His career-high in long balls actually came during his rookie season in 2019 when he crushed a league-leading 53 homers.

It should be noted that Alonso hit just .217 with a .318 OBP in 2023. He still slugged .504 and finished with an .821 OPS due to his power, but last year was a down season for Alonso overall. In 2022, however, Alonso slashed a strong .271/.352/.518/.869.

One other important element of Alonso's game that will excite Cubs fans is his durability. With the exception of the 2020 shortened campaign, Alonso has appeared in at least 152 games in each season during his career.

So the Cubs would be receiving an extremely durable player who will provide pop in the middle of the lineup at the very least, and someone who has the potential to be an All-Star player.

Will this trade actually happen?

The Mets are not in a position to win the National League East in 2024. They could possibly compete for an NL Wild Card berth, but going all in on a Wild Card position with the risk of losing Alonso for almost nothing in free agency wouldn't be the best decision.

Trading Alonso now for MLB-ready players could help New York avoid a complete rebuild while still re-tooling the roster.

For the Cubs, acquiring Alonso would give them an opportunity to discuss a potential contract extension with him. It would give Chicago a key player to build around as well.

The trade makes sense, but it remains to be seen if the Mets will be willing to deal him away before the 2024 season.