Prospect Pete Alonso’s status with Mets is an issue for union watching service time

Pete Alonso is hitting .406 at spring training and leads the Mets with three home runs. Yet, if New York keeps him in the minor leagues for the first 15 days of the season, his free agency would be pushed back a year, until after the 2025 season.

“Seeing what players are going through where their service time is being manipulated, on the front end and/or in the middle, is a concern,” union head Tony Clark said after meeting with the Mets.

Alonso had 36 homers and 119 RBIs at Double-A and Triple-A last season.

“What I wanted to do at the beginning of camp was just force their hands,” the Tampa, Fla., native said. “… I want them to be able to make that decision easily based off my performance.”

Kris Bryant was brought up by the Cubs in 2015 when he was one day short of being eligible for free agency after 2020. The union filed a grievance, but the case has not been tried.

Teams say they have a right to decide when players are ready for the major leagues.

“We believe it’s hurting the industry,” Clark said. “Being able to say that you have the best players on the field at all times is something you’d like to be able to say. In the current climate, you can’t say that.”

Briefly: The Nationals and lefty reliever Tony Sipp agreed in principle to a one-year deal worth $1.25 million with an option for 2020. … St. Louis pitcher Carlos Martinez (shoulder weakness) will begin the season on the injured list. … Cubs reliever Pedro Strop has a strained right hamstring, eliminating the likely candidate to close at the start of the season as Brandon Morrow recovers from elbow surgery. … The White Sox optioned top prospect Eloy Jimenez to Triple-A Charlotte .

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