Engage three quarter rant power ensign.
Agree completely with the reply above - the only relation between the wheel and any adjustable parts of the front suspension involving alignment begin with an entirely nonadjustable shaft, and end up with the connection at the tie-rod ends. It would be just as logical to recommend getting an alignment after changing your horn fuse.
There are numerous things about your post that raise question, compelling comment. I'm quizzical why your mechanic friend would recommend an alignment in the first place. Is there something otherwise he noticed about the condition of the rest of the suspension that prompted his recommendation?
Next, what kind of shop did you go to for your alignment quote? A tire or brake or exhaust chain? A real mechanic shop? An alignment specialty only shop? It's important which type. Most shops really hate old cars with dino alignment adjustments like ours and that $50 quote will NEVER NEVER get you more than a rudimentary toe-n-go, ---- which you can dam near do in your driveway with easily purchased equipment. Did the shop visually show you up on the lift their method of testing for bad BJs? You will never get a shop willing to undertake camber/caster real alignment for that price, even if they happen to have the required equipment --- unless of course they charge $15 per added shim. Any shop thinking they can actually perform a full alignment at that price is probably unaware of the correct process and will bugger up things to the point of needing major repair afterward. And by a different shop.
Now, the ONLY way to "upgrade" your work-order is to allege that you have 4 out of 4 bad BJs, which is statistically improbable unless you have other very severe issues, which brings us back to your mechanic friend's initial thoughts. You don't give how long you've had the car to document its history and use, and you don't give mileage to gauge the life expectancy of these type of parts. But, upper BJs seldom give out for a couple hundred thou miles, and even lowers last quite long with periodic lube. The odds of both of the lowers needing replacement at the same time is nil to none. If you needed all 4 BJs, or even any two, you'd be noticing handling difficulties, vibrations, noises.....
So bottomline: 1. Does your car drive just fine now? 2. Ask your friend why he recommended an alignment. 3. Avoid that shop.
And pardon me, - I'm on the 2nd coffee and just getting wound up.
\'96SS SOB: SSRI, Herter Tune, Tri-Y II, , 3000 Edge, F/HO bars, METCO extendeds with CV MMC, Bilsteins, currently Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta (315/35 rear). Finally, wait for it... LT-4 knock module!
\'96FWB BUW-Butt Ugly White: PCMPerformance tune, HDFA w/ swissed filter, 1/2 SLP s.s. catback with H- and Flow Super 50s, oem opti rebuilt 3 times, SS Bars, METCO LCA, Airlift 1000, Monroe SS, PowerTrax No-Slip, CTS wheels with +1 rubber. Finally, yes again... LT-4 knock module!