It’s been a poorly timed down year at the plate for Mets outfielder Michael Conforto, who’ll reach free agency for the first time this winter. He’s begun to turn things around at the plate over the past five weeks or so, however, and Anthony DiComo of MLB.com writes that the team is “primed” to make a qualifying offer to Conforto — an offer he’s quite likely to reject, per DiComo.
MLBTR’s Anthony Franco wrote a month ago when previewing the qualifying offer market that Conforto was a likely recipient, even prior to his recent hot streak, so the notion of Conforto being tagged with that one-year offer in the $19MM range isn’t necessarily a surprise in and of itself. Given Conforto’s age — he’ll turn 29 next March — and down season, some might have wondered whether there was a chance he’d accept the qualifying offer. Doing so would’ve come with the possibility of reentering the market in advance of his age-30 season, in 2023, without draft compensation attached to his name and on the heels of a hopeful rebound effort.
As Anthony noted in that previously referenced qualifying offer preview, Conforto still seemed like a decent bet to land a long-term deal based solely on his age and track record. He’s been on a tear over the past month-plus, however, which only figures to increase the chances he’ll both receive and reject the offer.
Granted, Conforto’s .227/.344/.375 batting line isn’t much to look at (104 wRC+), but he’s walking at a strong 12.5 percent clip with similar exit velocity, launch angle and barrel rates to those he’s logged in recent, more-productive seasons. His 41.2 percent hard-hit rate is the second-best of his career, and Conforto has posted his best marks of the past five years in swinging-strike rate and contact rate this season. Last year’s mammoth .322/.412/.515 line in 54 games was a clear outlier (.412 BABIP), but Conforto’s batted-ball and K-BB profiles look quite similar to the hitter who posted a .257/.363/.492 line from 2017-19.
Beyond that, Conforto’s age shouldn’t be understated when looking at his qualifying offer candidacy. Few free agents reach the market prior to their age-30 seasons, and Conforto is particularly young when compared to the rest of the offseason outfield class. Kyle Schwarber is the only other everyday option who’ll play next season at 29. Nick Castellanos, who’s likely to opt out of the remaining two years on his contract with the Reds, will play next year at 30 years of age, but the bulk of the outfield class is a good bit older. Potential everyday options like Starling Marte (33 in 2021), Mark Canha (33) and Tommy Pham (34) are all four or more years older than Conforto.
Conforto is one of two possible qualifying offer candidates for the Mets this winter, with Noah Syndergaard standing as the only other plausible candidate. (Marcus Stroman cannot be issued a second qualifying offer, and Javier Baez is ineligible due to his midseason trade.) Syndergaard’s case isn’t as straightforward, as he hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2019 due primarily to last year’s Tommy John surgery. There’s still a case to be made, based on his track record and upside (plus the Mets’ payroll capacity), that it’s a worthwhile gamble for the team to take, however.
What will the Mets salary be in 2022? Under and over in 220 million.
Under and over?
Under 220 Million or over 220 million salary in 2022.
Mets salary for ‘22 is 127,650,000 for 8 players that’s under contract
Definitely one or the other.
Could be exactly $220,000,000.00
Waaaaaay over. They’ll be starting the off season near 200,000.
COSMO depending on the length of the Bauer suspension, they could have a higher salary then the Dodgers.
Way over. Cohen said he doesn’t want to barley go over. I would guess in the 260-280 range
For a .500 team? Are the Mets trying to be the yankees?
So Cohen “doesn’t want to barley go over”? What beverage does he want to use for his efforts to spend like a drunken sailor?
One would assume, rum…
He’d be foolish to not accept. No one pays him that much annually on a longer-term deal after this down season.
nah, he’ll decline and become a perennial MVP candidate elsewhere.
I would think most are after the largest guarantee not aav. aav is nice and all, but larger guarantees are better I think
He may not get that much annually but may secure a longer term commitment…. If he can secure say a 4 year 60 million with second year opt out and 35 paid out in those first two years it may make sense to go with the safer money.
A lot will depend on the CBA, personally, I think the changes should not come into effect until after the 2022 season so free agency isn’t stagnant and guys like Conforto can make sound decisions.
I.e., what if Conforto accepts the QO and gets a one year deal but then the new CBA does away with compensation picks or the QO all together. He just got boned into signing a one year deal when he could have done substantially better.
I’m curious as to what everyone here thinks about this. I personally think it’s a good time for the Mets to cut ties with Conforto. But he’s a fan favorite and couldn’t possibly have a another year as bad as this one.
… or could he?
I have a few Met fan friends and they can’t stand him, couldn’t be happier if he was gone next year lol
I agree he’s been with the Mets for many seasons and still hasn’t figured it out plus he can’t hit a curve or breaking ball
Fans need to accept that he’s very streaky. So was David Wright. Sometimes, he’d look as though something was wrong with him and other times, he’d carry the team as though the balls looked like beachballs coming in. I’m pretty sure that this is something that can’t be cured by teaching or correction and it strikes me that the analytics solution, to tell the hitters what they should, doesn’t help a whole lot.
They should leave the “fan favorite” aspect at the door, much like the Astros did with Springer. Sometimes you have to make decisions based on results and money, and less on emotion.
He’s already better. Just kiss Baez goodbye.
Baez will be resigned. For better or worse it’ll be the Lindor/Baez show for years to come.
The s**tshow must go on! Glad it’ll be as entertaining as rubbernecking an accident. “Ew, I hope everyone’s alright.”
IMHO, I don’t think Baez wants to finish his career as a 2b. I think he moves on to play SS…which he is amazing at.
If Correa leaves Houston, I could see them going after him, and Philly needs defense, as you know.
No team is paying nearly $600M for two underperforming middle infielders.
Baez is light years better than Conforto
Conforto is a fan favorite? What is your basis for that assertion?
Isn’t the answer obvious?
A lot of fans really like him. That’s the basis.
My basis for that assertion is that a lot of fans like him.
i want the giants to sign him to a 3 year deal. his down season will just make him more affordable, i’m still a believer. his swing would play at oracle and they could stick him in either corner OF spot
All the Giants outfielders are having a better season than him with the exception of Slater, who is more versatile defensively. Giants need to worry about filling 4 rotation spots and extending Posey and Belt on reasonable deals before they start thinking about outfielders.
you have no idea what you’re talking about. ruf and and dickerson are obviously not long term solutions and if you think that wade, yaz or duggar is going to be better than conforto two seasons from nowyou don’t know the game. all they are going to have is heliot and maybe bishop soon enough
Yea a 29 year old free agent is taking a 3 year deal
Sike! It’s either QO or he’s aiming for 5+, not taking less than 4 at a big aav and/or opt outs. Otherwise Boras will pivot for a 1 year pillow deal
ozuna and castellanos just signed 4 year deals at the same exact age so fine give him 4.. even better
RnR Pfeifer Sabertooth
I was wondering how on earth a guy batting .227 expects.to even get 19M because.thats incredible.
Then you says Boras and I understand. The guy has ruined baseball for the working class man.
FLIPPIN TEN DOLLAR HOTDOGS!
BORAS – YOU STINK!
Hire me, I need a job to afford the darn hotdogs!
Boras isn’t the problem.
You would hire Boras 100 days out of 100 to negotiate a contract for you. Anyone with a brain would trust that man to negotiate you a good deal. So would, and do, baseball players
Your chances of being hired for anything but a hot dog vendor are quite slim since you clearly failed economics. The good news is you’ll get free hotdogs.
Lee Mazzilli for HOF
I don’t know any math fans including myself that would call him a fan favorite. He was supposed to blossom into a star he didn’t he’s an average outfielder at best time to move on from him nimmo and Smith. Outfield needs a bit of an overhaul
@lee for hof
Your a math fan? I was more of a history buff myself.
Lee Mazzilli for HOF
Darn talk to text
Your undervaluing if Nimmo is absurd. Check out his OPS+. Smith, too early to give up on completely. Conforto is good but maybe not worth the QO.
Lee Mazzilli for HOF
Nimrod has 1 Stat OBP can’t stay healthy time to move on. Smith is a first baseman. Tried this with Duda…doesn’t work. Time to move him for players who are better fits.
That’s what the Tigers thought with Bobby Higgenson. He went from looking like a breakout candidate to an albatross upon signing long term. Conforto looks the part of a solid regular and $19MM should buy more than that. Can’t see Castellanos costing much more and he gives more bang for the buck.
Lee Mazzilli for HOF
Wasn’t matt notes suppose to be a next coming too? I remember this because I still have 500 of his Topps rookie cards.
Conforto has played excellent defense and is never a distraction. He will get something in the 4/90 range from someone.
It’s been fun AND frustrating watching his Mets career. His injuries were tough and his not hitting lefties this year is concerning. I think the Mets QO is good, but I doubt he takes it.
This is a sure bet for him to accept. No team would be willing to lose a draft pick AND offer him anywhere near that much money.
I don’t see a scenario where he wouldn’t take it. If he declines the best he could hope for at this point is 2/20 from like BAL, DET, MIA, or KC.
Even that could be a stretch depending on the new CBA talks. He’s definitely taking the 19 and running.
Detroit doesn’t need OF help. They have plenty with more on the way.
Lmfao 2/20. Okay buddy
He’s the best outfielder not castellanos on the market. If he doesn’t take the QO it’s because Boras has a team(s) willing to go to 50-60 M
I want him back. He will be better than Alonso next year. I hear he also is planning to become a two way player with his knuckleball
Ducky Buckin Fent
He is best. Outfielder ni het national League !! Cmon! He are soup or star & will win all star game vmp award in Seeattle.
I hope the Yankees & Braves get into plane crash
I have 140 iq. Missed war!!
Genius account name!
I love what you’re doing!
Guys this is not me
well of course its not you! its me!
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Comedy team of Abbott & Costello
Or Moe and Larry!
Ducky Buckin Fent
Good to see you figured this out with very little outside help, @metsfan22. I wasn’t entirely sure you would.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
Mets are probably rolling the dice hoping for a draft pick if someone is foolish enough to give him a multi year deal. Mets also hoping the CBA doesn’t change. My guess is he’ll accept the QO.
IMO: He’d be wise to accept the QO and use 2022 to straighten himself out.
Agree. I see him doing this as well.
Yep it is
Wow 18 HR’s a year avg and 55 RBI and getting 19 million. That is crazy
I’ve watched the Mets throughout Conforto’s tenure and never thought of him as more than an average outfielder. If he’s a superstar he has yet to prove it.
I honestly think the Mets need to restructure their offense, but Conforto has been better of late. A QO makes sense for both sides.
He won’t accept. He’ll get a 2/3 year deal at less AAV with opt outs. He’ll cost himself a few mill next year but he’ll get some insurance and be able to re enter the market
Good point, JOHN. I hadn’t thought of that.
QO conforto , probably Q0 Thor , resign stroman , sign baez and easily sign kris Bryant and trade Jd Davis and dom smith for cash and call it a off season
how far over the luxury tax are they going for a top-heavy roster that already has struggled to get it done?
As far as the Steve ballmer look alike wants to be ! That can be their competitive advantage in their leagues
A injured team? That struggled? Ok
Bryant is the exact overpay I’d love the Mets to make, going over the luxury tax and not making the playoffs.
Don’t gloat to hard lol your team is gonna bid hard on him as well to pair him up with his best friend forever Harper ! The Mets and Phillies are gonna get in a bidding war for him to the point no other teams have a chance to sign Bryant ! He will be a met or he will be a Phillie and his preference to be close to vegas won’t end up mattering at all !
Hahah you’re probably right, but nah. I think the Phillies will be going in the opposite direction. Selling hard. I expect lots of trades.
The offseason and Spring Training are where everyone is a winner! Made some deals for new bullpen arms? We guarantee they’ll pan out. Traded for a new bopper? Get ready for 50 home runs. Signed a new starting pitcher? He’ll make deGrom look like leftovers. It’s once the season begins that everything falls apart.
*Caveat – the Baltimore Orioles are never winners.
They didn’t bring in that general manager to sell and bring in the young talent an. Replenish the farm lol ! They will have to fire him first
I wasn’t referring to just one team (except for the Orioles). Every franchise and its fanbase goes through the same machinations.
The Phillies will make some moves to sell their fans that they’re competing. I hope they bite at Bryant. Overpay and leave themselves vulnerable on the mound again. Then again, just read Sandy Alderson is staying on the organization next year so who knows if the Mets will have another swan dive.
Conforto has Boras as his agent, It’s hard to see how he wouldn’t get multiyear offers That being said, he’s probably at best 3-4 WAR player, a corner outfield, not a star. He’ll get paid, maybe not the $100M+ Boras will probably be asking
Congrats on your 18 million dollar payday, Michael. Nice bounce back candidate anyways.
Looking at Conforto’s career stats really makes me appreciate players like Xander Boegarts. Xander has been the model of consistency at the plate, outside of the one year he played hurt. Someone like Conforto should be able to get at least 30 doubles a year (if not 40) and drive in 100 RBI, yet he hasn’t been able to do so. Seems more like an all or nothing hitter to me. He’s certainly good enough to warrant a multi-year contract but if he’s looking for Springer money, he’s going to be very disappointed. If he’s able to get a 4/$80M offer, he should sign that immediately. Not sure he’s even worth that much but some teams are willing to overpay for an above average player.
Thank you some bogie appreciation!!
take the money and hit the open market next year
If he declines the QO, expect to go unsigned until the draft pick is lost in may or whenever. No one will lose a draft pick and pay top dollar for him. If Duval is a 4th outfielder, conforto is a 5th.
You’re forgetting their biggest problem, the bullpen
Pitching, in general, will be a problem this off season for the Mets. They’ll have a lot to holes to fill. The first (& maybe only) offensive player that I’d like to see them replace is Conforto
The Universal DH will help the Mets a lot if it passes. Automatically open up a couple of spots in the field by platooning Davis and Smith at DH. That’s where they could improve upon their offense. But yeah I don’t remember the last time the Mets even had an average bullpen
Pen wasn’t all that bad for much of this season. Problem is, most of the better arms in the pen will be free agents. And of course, their closer is horrible.
If I’m mikey I’m walkin, but damn that QO comp
we keep saying the QO comp pick may be gone, but for all we know the CBA could easily have such a change, but it not take affect for another year.
Conforto is the most overrated player in the game. He never comes through and gets most of his hits/homeruns when the Mets are down by 6 or up by 6 runs. Least clutch player iv ever seen. Most likely he will turn down the QO and bank on getting offers based on his 2020 season. Our worst hitter bats 3rd, unbelievable. The Mets should look to what the Dodgers are doing with Bellinger if they are actually serious about winning games
If LA is smart, and they are, they’ll listen on Bellinger this winter. Never thought I’d be saying that this soon, but until he cuts down on that swing it will continue to be nothing but pop ups, FOs, Ks, and an occasional HBP
This is the WORST time to try to trade Bellinger. Wow what a horrible take
If they’re smart, and they are, they’ll get him healthy and ready for next year. Not sell him at .5 cents on the dollar
Lol, “clutch”. (It’s not a thing, studies have proven this, and the entire concept makes no sense anyway. Talent doesn’t change according to score).
Explain why Miguel Cabrera, even now, hits better with runners in scoring position if there is no such thing as “clutch”.
“Clutch” is not real lol. How dumb are these players if they could just decide to be better when they wanted to but aren’t since there’s a runner on first instead of second?
Miggy… pitchers are forced to give him strikes, and his swing happy approach benefits from more pitches in the zone
Have you ever played baseball? Actually forget that, have you ever played a sport?
Did I offend your favorite player? Miggy has the 2nd highest K rate of his career, and his lowest BB rate since 2008. And aside from 2019, he’s swinging the bat as much or more than ever
War is a cumulative stat. 2017-2021, want to guess miggy’s total war? Times up, it’s 0.3… over the last FIVE YEARS. Tigers have paid him $150,000,000 during that time
Cosmo, Your gonna tell me players like Arenado, Freddie Freeman, Daniel Murphy, and Wilmer Flores just hit better with runners in scoring position out of luck but Conforto never hits with Risp cuz hes unlucky? I think you need to watch more games
Lee Mazzilli for HOF
Cosmo can you provide a reference to these studies. I did my own study. Game 6 when the team stepped up and came back. Anyone else have there own study.
Didn’t you ever think that the “clutch” concept is a combination that some human beings can relax and perform well in high stress situations and can take advantage of the human beings that fall apart in high stress situations? There are many historical studies of people’s mental states that point to some having the abilities to perform well under pressure while others do not. There’s the saying of “never let them see you sweat or never let them see your fear.” That’s because the guy that’s scared is, more often than not, going to be beaten by the guy that isn’t scared.
So, is “clutch” really not a thing and makes no sense when we know that people perform differently in high stress situations in all walks of life?
This is where the majority of you stats guys fail – understanding the human elements of the game. We’re not robots, and the game isn’t played by robots.
#Metsin7 totally agree with you. First of all Rojas has to go; his choice of relief pitchers cost the Mets yet another game last night and his lineup choice is worst than using a magic eight ball! I am sorry to even see Conforto even getting a QO; just let him walk! Last years numbers don’t mean a thing; in a shortened season he did not face some of the best pitchers out there. The guy is not clutch nor does he come up with a big hit. I know only one data point but last night a sacrifice fly!! Come on that’s not worth 20 million QO. Sandy is a total disaster but we are stuck with him too. The only saving grace to this season is not having to listen to Rojas and his half assed painful illogical excuses as due to his management it is already over. Right fielders are a dime a dozen and there is nothing special in Conforto.
#Canosucks I completely agree with you. Iv been saying this since the beggining of last season that Luis Rojas was an awful hire. His lineups are god awful, his use of the relief staff is just horrendus. Conforto could go 0 for 40 and he will still bat third while guys like Brendan Drury who are batting 60 points better than him get sent down to the minors. No one on the team is even hitting above 270. They need to get rid of Castro, Carrasco, Conforto, and especially the manager. If they were smart, they would fire Rojas right after they get swept tonight
When Brendan Drury was seeing the ball and hot Rojas took him out of the lineup???? Then he sticks him in just as PH from time to time until his production falls; guys need their at bats to stay sharp and then they send him down!!! Unbelievable!!
Unfortunately you probably saw today Alderson want to bring back Rojas next season!! I have been a Mets fan for a long long time but I can’t take it anymore if Rojas is back next year I am on a hiatus.
Conforto and Syndergaard are two of the most common sense “wins” for both team and player. Hot streak notwithstanding, Conforto can use the rebound season to land a bigger multi-year deal and the Mets don’t have to shop a thin market, and with Syndergaard not having pitched since 2019 it lets him get back to see what he can still do while the team gets a cost controlled gamble on a high end pitcher.
I could see the Mets losing on the Conforto QO. It’s not like 19MM is chump change. It’s a lot for a player who’s never really found it. He goes on runs in short spurts, but that’s it. As for Conforto, I agree it’s a win for him.
I’m not 100% convinced that Thor will be on a QO. With his injury history he might want to gamble. I imagine there is some team willing to offer a multi year contract for an average salary in the range of 15-20 million.
He’s not having a great year but I hope the Mets resign him
Them athletes’ wonderful salaries no matter metrics or injuries…
A lot of people seem unreasonably down on Conforto, but coming into ’21, he had very solid numbers; .358 career OBP and a 128 OPS+.
This year’s definitely been a disappointment, but his 2nd half numbers paint a more promising picture moving forward.
Mets fan for 45 years now, sad but true, Michael is ok, not great this year, injury didn’t help but he never got quite off the ground . He’s a fool not to accept qualifying offer
chrisc. am long time Mets fan too, 50+ years.
One thing for sure, Michael will make a decision that’s right for him. He’s said so, that Boras works for him and will do what Michael wants. If Michael wants to stay, I can’t see Sandy Alderson saying no. A deal however won’t be the length and dollar value that was thought he’d get prior to his disappointing 2021.
Sandy Alderson probably offers a shorter term deal with opt out, in addition to first offering the one year Q.O. . If Conforto turns it down, I think he still intends to try to work out deal with the Mets. The Mets appreciate his professionalism, good nature, hard work and leadership.
Conforto is homegrown Met who has the prettiest swing when right. Mets should offer short term deal, let;s say 3 years and include an opt out. He’s said he wants to stay. He’s having a down season but is solid in the outfield, a good guy, consummate professional who should rebound next season.
He’s also not blocking anyone in the minors and Mets will already have opening in LF for 2022. that could be filled from the outside or give Khalil Lee a shot, let’s say in platoon.
$19 million for a bum. Only the Mets. Conforto is perfect in steal attempts. That must be the reasoning.
Phew. I forgot they still have Cano
Cohen is gonna spend more on 3 middle infielders than the Rays spend in 2 entire years
I don’t see them bringing Baez back, for that reason. He’s gonna cost them way too much. Money is better spent elsewhere
I think they offer both Conforto and Thor with both declining and signing elsewhere.
I say the Mets need to spend that Cohen money to get Conforto signed long term along with Syndergaard, Stroman, etc. etc. Get them all signed. Give these players the money they want. Cohen has the money, so make it happen.
There’s no reason that they shouldn’t be able to field the same team next year and beyond. Spare no expense to make it happen.
I don’t understand the hype around Conforto what makes him special? Or is he another overrated NY player?
When he’s on, he’s good. Problem is, he’s been off most of the season
He was good during the one year where he made the All Star team, 2016 or 2017 I think. In 2018, he hit 30+ homeruns
His 134 OPS+ over four seasons, from 2017-2020, is the answer to your question.
Could be, and likely is, a bit of a head game going on between Conforto’s representatives and the Mets front office as both sides leak their supposed intent. Boras wants to take his player to market, but he may recognize that a one year, $19M deal will be best, especially with the uncertainty of when a new CBA will be signed. Lock in the guaranteed money, and enter free agency post 2022 with no free agent compensation penalty attached, and likely coming off a better season. Pull a Stroman. Boras could be maneuvering Cohen/Alderson into a QO that they fully intend to accept.
I’m fine signing him to a one year contract, particularly if they don’t have other options. No one from the minors can take his spot for next year. But long term, I wouldn’t sign him to big money.
They’ll over a QO to both Conforto and Syndergaard b/c it’s easy money if they both accept. I think they’ll work to resign Syndergard, Stroman and Baez. They need to sure up the rotation and maybe go after a guy like Alex Wood.. They could also go after Joc Perderson for more OF help. Cohen has said numerous times that he’s willing to go over the LT and will blow it out of the water, if necessary. I don’t think he’s kidding.
One thing is for sure…they should fire Luis Rojas 100%
They’ll offer the QO because it’s win-win. If the player accepts, then they’re on the hook for just one year, and the players may rebound. If the player refuses, the Mets will get a draft pic.