The Mets announced that they have issued qualifying offers to outfielder Michael Conforto and right-hander Noah Syndergaard. The two players have until November 17 to decide if they will accept the one-year, $18.4MM offer, or if either will reject the offer and test free agency.
It was already expected that Conforto would receive a QO, though there wasn’t as much clarity on Syndergaard, considering the righty has missed virtually all of the last two seasons. Syndergaard underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2020 and then his return was further delayed by elbow inflammation, before he got back in time to pitch two innings over two games late in the Mets’ 2021 campaign.
Before the TJ surgery, however, Syndergaard had exhibited some front-of-the-rotation stuff over his first five seasons with New York. The peak was a 2016 season that saw “Thor” earn an All-Star nod and finish eighth in NL Cy Young Award voting, though over 716 innings from 2015-19, Syndergaard posted a 3.31 ERA, 26.4% strikeout rate, and a 20.7% K/BB rate.
If Syndergaard is able to deliver close to those types of numbers when healthy in 2022, that is certainly worth an $18.4MM payday. With this in mind, the Mets clearly felt comfortable issuing the QO to Syndergaard knowing that he very well could accept the one-year deal now, and re-enter free agency next winter in search of a longer-term contract (and an actual platform year on his resume). Syndergaard returning to the fold would go a long ways towards bolstering a Mets rotation that might lose Marcus Stroman to free agency, plus Jacob deGrom and Carlos Carrasco are coming off injury-plagued seasons of their own.
New York is now also eligible to receive a compensatory draft pick if Syndergaard rejects the qualifying offer and signs elsewhere, and that possibility can’t be ruled out. Another team might feel Syndergaard is worth some kind of multi-year commitment right now, or possibly a multi-year deal that contains an opt-out clause after a year so Syndergaard could end up re-entering the 2022-23 free agent class after all.
Conforto seemed like a surefire bet to receive a qualifying offer prior to the 2021 campaign, yet some doubts were raised when the outfielder struggled for a big portion of the season. A strained right hamstring cost Comforto over a month on the injured list, and he hit .232/.344/.384 over 479 plate appearances — a large step back from his .259/.358/.484 slash line over his first six seasons.
Looking at the advanced metrics, there isn’t any clear reason behind Conforto’s dropoff, apart from an increase in his groundball rate (a career-high 44.7%), which combined with a .276 BABIP could have resulted in just some bad batted-ball luck. Apart from that one stat, however, many of Conforto’s 2021 metrics were pretty close or even better than his career rates.
It would seem like Conforto might also be a candidate to accept the qualifying offer, if he wished to enter free agency on the heels of a better platform year come next winter. However, reports suggest that Conforto will likely reject the QO and test the market this season. It stands to reason that multiple teams will still have interest in giving Conforto a nice multi-year contract (especially since 2022 will only be his age-29 season), though it will be interesting to see just how big a deal he lands in the wake of his somewhat average 2021 numbers.
Nice move by the new GM, Ghost Dad.
Well Bill Cosby is a free man now
Jon Heyman would read this thread, and then send out a tweet saying “multiple sources are saying that Bill Cosby is now emerging as a leading candidate for the Mets GM”.
Talk about a way to empty out a fan base
The Mets "Missed WAR"
They will both accept. Syndergaard might pan out if he stays healthy next season. I think Conforto is going to disappoint. He was so mediocre this season it was sad. Every time I thought he might turn it around he never did anything. He had so many opportunities to turn his season around this year and blew them all. I doubt he will be worth anything near $18.4M next season. I guess it’s pretty low risk though. If he’s bad again it’s only one year.
He did hint that he was gonna decline. Remember, Boras is his agent.
Boras clients have accepted the QO in the past. Like Wieters.
I can see Thor accepting- it’s a good price for someone who needs to show recovery and wants to maximize their value on the market for a long term deal.
Conforto may pass, though. He’s proven he can hit and one bad year won’t deter. A friendly ballpark with a short RF fence could be appealing to a team.
Conforto’s Avg Exit Velo was in the 35%-tile and Hard Hit% 39th. Dejuiced balls?
Conforto wasn’t anywhere close to mediocre, though, worth less than 1 WAR in 2021 and posting a sub-.700 OPS from July 20 through September 28th, putting the lie to the idea that this was some early season discomfort that passed and Conforto somehow got himself back on track.
Maybe he did suffer a lingering, nasty shoulder reinjury that will rather magically heal in the next five months and he’ll be back to normal, but it’s more likely that he’s in significant decline, as is hardly rare at age 28 in today’s fast, faster, fastest game.
Plenty of commenters below who might know how to read but simply don’t retain anything. Just spewing out whatever pops into their mind.
This was Syndergaard’s quote, and this comment was replayed several times on TV:
Upon returning from Tommy John surgery in late September, Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard called the prospect of a qualifying offer “something that I’d be extremely grateful for,” and “something that I’m hoping for.”
The bigger question for me — WHO gave the order for the QO’s?
(“And I said to myself, this is the business we’ve chosen; I didn’t ask who gave the order, because it had nothing to do with business!”)
+1 for the quote, but I’d bet on both opting out.
There’s very little chance Syndergaard opts out after throwing 2 innings in 2 years, and he wasn’t all that good the last full season he did pitch.
No one’s giving him anything close to an $18.4m AAV on a multiyear deal, so the only question is, will some optimist offer something like a guaranteed 2/32m or 3/42m—and will Syndergaard work that out in the next few days and decide NOT to bet on himself?
Players, GMs, and coaches never lie. If I were his agent, I’d tell Thor to wait until 6/1. That way he’ll be well rested and won’t have the QO compensation attached.
He’ll be plenty well rested on Opening Day. If his agents advises him not to sign until June, he should be fired.
I can understand Thor, but Conforto was a disaster last year.
Funny thing is he will probably decline it, Boras guy think he can do better
Was an off year and he wasn’t really that bad.
He was a freaking horror show. His first half numbers a one legged man could gave matched.
And his second half evened things out quite a bit.
No, they didn’t. Conforto had a sub-.700 OPS in something like 250 PA from July 20 through September 28th.
That he had a few good games at the absolute end of the year hardly recuperates the catastrophe that was his 2021. In recent offseasons, solid 2-3 WAR players Conforto’s age or a little older were getting 2/30m, 3/45m, that kind of thing. Ozuna had a monster year and only got something like 4/70m. No one was getting a $18.4m AAV. Conforto only got the offer because the Mets can’t get players to come to Queens without paying a premium.
Players have no problem going to Queens… this myth is in your head
Disastrous relative to his career numbers maybe. He was mediocre last season, OPS a touch above league average (.729 vs .725) and defense was similarly middling.
But that would go against recency bias and the established narrative!
It’s a sensible move, especially for an owner with deep pockets. If Conforto posts a similar season to this past one, the commitment is minimal. If he even modestly rebounds, he should be worth the investment. And it’s not like he’s old enough where you’d be worried about significant age-related decline.
Of course, he might still test the open market but I have a feeling Syndergaard would be a better bet to reject the QO than Conforto given the respective markets for a corner outfielder coming off a pretty poor season vs starting pitching that teams can never get enough of, though I expect both to accept it in the end.
That’s far from mediocre for a RFer. It’s dismal.
Not the worst thing in the world for Conforto. He’s still young, has a track record, and will be playing for a big payday.
GMs don’t necessarily base their assessments on one year. At his age, he could easily land something like $52M/4.
Hugely unlikely. The Dodgers gave Pollock, a 2-3 WAR CFer, 4/55m. Conforto at this point is not in Pollock’s league. In addition even with some bounce back Conforto may well be reduced to a platoon role, missing LHP entirely. There’s no chance at all he gets Pollock’s deal.
No brainer moves hopefully Conforto rejects it and Thor accepts it
They both should accept it ( especially with the strong possibility of a lockout or strike).
I hope to god Conforto rejects, hes been killing the offense for years
Well the Mets still have Cano… lol
Brodie, is that you?
Conforto is a very streaky player. While I don’t think he is as bad as he was last year, I also don’t think he is as good as 2020. He is somewhere in between which is still a very good player. What that would get him on the open market after last year will be interesting to see. He could very well take the offer and try to work out an extension with the Mets or showcase and earn springer money next year. Boras doesn’t usually go for that, so I’m thinking he will decline and could find a 4/5 year deal for 70/80 or so. Thor, I think he should take it, especially since he will be carefully watched with innings and teams know that he won’t pitch 180-200 innings so they won’t be giving him top dollar this year and any multi year deal would be lower because of this.
Both of their agents have probably done their homework and are well aware of the market and potential suitors. It wouldn’t surprise me if both rejected the QO.
Noah is back. Unlikely he rejects the QO
He’s rejecting. Unless something his permanently wrong with his arm, he will be in high demand.
While I do think people are underestimating the chances of him rejecting his QO, he still has plenty of incentive to accept it and look to land a big contract next offseason. Whatever contract he would get now would pale in comparison to that, and even if it would beat the QO.
He could, but I am not sure age is on his side. My guess is that he gets somewhere around $80M/4, assuming his arm checks out. If he can repeat 2016 or 2018, it could become $125M/5, of the $18M for 2022.
Of course, I am a RS fan, and hoping we can land him.
There is literally no chance Syndergaard will reject.
You’re wrong in assuming that Thor won’t bet on himself (he might) and wrong in your usage of the word “literally”.
wouldn’t such a.prove it deal be just as much a bet on one’s self?
Yea that’s true
The bets go both ways. He’d bet on himself if were only to receive a $45M/3 contract, because he might think he is a 4-WAR pitcher. And, imho, he’d be correct.
OTOH, there will be GMs willing to make the same bet: that he is 4-WAR pitcher. Some of those will put money on the table. The question will be, is it enough to forego betting on himself.
3/45m isn’t ‘betting on himself–just the opposite. 3/45m is what he’d get if he took the QO than settled next year for 2/26.6m for 2023-24.
Cap & Crunch
Noah hashes out a multi year deal to stay with the Mets
I was coming on here to ask specifically about that? Does offering or accepting a QO prevent negotiating a different deal? It seems like Thor was so eager to get a QO, but a lesser AAV over 2 years may have done the trick. That also could have saved the QO if he decided to bolt for a massive payday after that deal ended.
Mets pitchers are getting old fast.
Anybody know if Refsnyder got a Qualifying Offer?
Would be worth every penny
These were expected and I have no issue with them. The QO process itself needs reform. Ten days to decide seems ridiculous to me. I would let the offer stay in place until the start of Spring Training at which point the value of the offer would be cut in half, then go away when regular season rosters are set.
They’ve had an entire season to think about it. If they don’t know by now, they’ll never know.
That’s way too long. Teams need to plan and budget. When was the last time anyone had received a job offer and given several months’ time to decide whether to accept? Typically, you’re given 5 days or less.
That may be true, but I don’t think my company would get draft pick compensation if I signed somewhere else. My feeling is as long as a player’s market could be depressed by the prospect of a team losing picks, the offer should be open.
Your idea is still dumb, no matter how many times you repeat it. You can’t expect a team to go about their offseason having that much money in limbo…for example the Mets would have ~ 37m that’s committed without knowing whether it’ll be accepted until spring training. How do you expect a team to plan an offseason like that?
Conforto should accept after that disaster of a season
Conforto was on my wishlist for the Ms as I didn’t think he would be offered. Now I will assume this gets accepted.
The Mets should have just let Conforto walk away he’s not worth that kind of money even if it’s only one year. Met’s fans you wonder why your team sucks year after year. It’s the fact that they keep putting the same tired outfield out there knowing full well they don’t hit or will be inured for huge stretches of the season. Change it up Mets there’s plenty of other players on the open market with better skills than Conforto that would come cheaper than $18 million. You can’t be worried that a player will perform better someplace else it happens although I highly doubt Conforto will be that player.
An example of an available, cheaper and better player than Conforto?
The supply of OFers projecting to be better than Conforto and signing for less than $18.4m per season is nearly infinite and recently included Ozuna coming off a 6th place MVP finish, leading the league in HR and RBI. It includes guys like Pollock and McCutcheon. Particularly in the corners you only pay more than that for a perennial All Star.
It’s worth remembering that Conforto’s 2020 season was fueled by a BAbip that would have been 8th, all-time, since 1900. His best year was entirely luck, in short.
The guys you mentioned are not better than Conforto, but, yea, they may be better deals
The owner has deep pockets. The commitment is one year. Conforto is still pretty young and his overall track record is still very solid. It’s not a bad move for us, especially with more pressing issues elsewhere and a non-existent front office right now.
What Cohen needs to avoid is the ridiculous albatross long-term contracts that would eventually hold back even someone with his level of resources. You know the one I’m referring to. He can spend however much money he wants on the short-term deals.
And for what it’s worth, that “same tired outfield” was very good in 2020. Projections like STEAMER have Conforto putting up 2.5 WAR. He was good to very good for 4 straight seasons (or 3.5 if you’d like). It’s a sensible gamble to take for a single season.
I know 2 contracts on the Mets you might be referring to.
This is a no brainer.. Mets don’t wanna lose either asset. And they both came off down, or injury riddled seasons. Both will accept, Mets need the outfield and rotation help anyway.
Both will accept.
Anyone who signs either of them will be taking a huge risk, so have to feel that any offers will reflect that risk. Best thing for both would be to accept and then move forward without the QO attached.
18.4 seems like a gamble for Conforto. I would’ve let him walk. The Mets need to change this lineup somewhat anyway. Conforto hinted he’d reject this, but I actually think both players accept.
Maybe he hinted he’d accept hoping that would encourage the Mets would offer it.
Pickle the Mets are in here is that without Conforto they’ve only one outfielder and that may be too much to overcome, although sinking 18 million plus into Conforto could present a slightly different version of the same problem, ie, many holes to fill, less resources with which to fill them.
I’m not sure. A year ago I was cautioning not to believe Conforto’s 2020 numbers. Heavily BABiP fueled. I’m on the opposite end this year. He’ll be much better in 2022. A normal Conforto year is with $18M.
Yea. This is the keypoint. If not Conforto who else? I think they can find a FA for around the same amount of money who provides more, but that’s also a large gamble. So you can’t really fault the Mets here even I think it’s giving Conforto slightly more than he’s worth.
Good point about the lineup change. But who do ya stick in right field, if not Conforto?
My guess: Conforto says no, Thor says yes.
My reasoning: Conforto has enough of a track record that he can EASILY score a 3/45 deal somewhere. I actually doubt you could get him that “cheaply,” but just using that for an example – $45 million guaranteed is a lot sweeter than $18 million. Again, I still think Conforto gets more than that on the open market, but you probably see my point.
I think Thor accepts because it’s a win-win for him. There’s a lot of questions about his health moving forward, of course. If he accepts and it turns out to be a steal for the Mets for the year, he’ll land a monster contract next offseason. If he accepts and he bombs, he’s $18 million richer, and SOMEbody always takes a chance on a pitcher as a bounceback.
I can’t see Conforto turning that down since he had an absolute disaster of a season. I can see Noah turning it down to go to a pitchers park in a low pressure market in hopes of turning it into a big time payoff. I think Noah would get that amount on a one year deal elsewhere so if he can find similar money somewhere low key he’s not under the microscope like this circus then he should take it.
Can’t get more pitcher friendly than Citifield, and I think Thor loves the big market. But time will tell.
True, but I was hinting more at the combination of a solid ballpark and small market expectations. I mean if I were in his shoes I’d wanna pitch somewhere I knew I was going to be successful without all the extra nonsense the Mets have going on. I would not wanna bank potentially the rest of my career earnings while playing on the Mets. Personally that’s just me.
Thor definitely does not see himself as a small market guy.
Conforto will not accept QO because he choked under the pressure of playing for a contract. He was epically bad in the first half of season. Why would he do that to himself again.
I’m ready to move on. Between the injuries and one good year, then one ok year I’ve lost patience.
Great guy, good character, good consistent fielder. But overall doesn’t deserve a raise AT ALL!
Lol, he didn’t choke, he just had an off year. There’s no proof whatsoever that it has anything to do with playing for a new contract. Players have off years for all sorts of reasons.
He definitely choked. He doesn’t do well in pressure spots. Look at his leverage stats.
Leverage stats are a matter of randomness, not talent. Overall they do not follow a pattern if you look at a large enough sample size.
@Cosmo2 I get what you’re saying, but that’s not entirely true for individual players. There are surely players who falter in high pressure situations–the problem is identifying those guys with any certainty and being able, reliably, to treat that difficulty as predictive..
Fwiw, while Conforto hits worse in high leverage situations than in medium and low lev situations, he also hits significantly better with RISP (117 tOPS) than otherwise, while hitting significantly worse with RISP and 2 outs than otherwise.
He’s also great with bases loaded and 0 outs and 1 out, but awful with 2 outs. I’d agree that anyone claiming he’s not clutch is reaching. Badly.
Yes I can agree with your first paragraph
Yep it is
Conforto is a lifetime 55 RBI 18 HR a year. He is the Mets version of Gardner on the other side of town. That kind of $$$ is ridiculous
RBI is the stat you are using? Really?
Prime Gardner is better than Conforto, atleast his defense is a plus. Conforto gets homeruns when the Mets are up by 10 runs or down by 10 runs. Most of them are solo homeruns too and he never hits in the clutch. Thats why his rbi totals are always so low when he bats 4th almost every game
What the score is and who is on base has nothing to do with a players ability. Are you suggesting he’s less talented according to the score? RBI are a team stat, when you do or don’t get your hits is a matter of randomness, not ability. Clutch is a myth, especially in the sense that you are suggesting. What you are suggesting is akin to mysticism.
Just ask MVP Jorge Soler and MVP Rosario if clutch is a myth!
Any human being or more specifically an athlete who can perform under pressure is a human talent. Ask any military if their special forces don’t perform well in the “clutch” Nothing mythical about that unless you don’t have it and can only dream on an online game.
Just ask Soler? What kind of argument is that? Clutch isn’t a thing, it’s, like luck, an after the fact judgement. Studies have been done but you can “ask Soler” if you want.
If you want to look at it that way, imo, it is pretty worthless. From 2017-2020, he averaged 34 HRs per 162 games. If you want to include his rookie year, and the year before he was a FT player, and the shortened 2020 season, then he is as low as 19.
Steamer projects hi with 25 HRs and an .810 OPS. That’s probably about right.
@JoeBrady I suspect the range of outcomes is extremely wide. Conforto was simply abysmal from July 20th through Sept 28th, 2021, a .695 OPS, strongly suggesting that whatever was ailing him was still present. Did he reinjure the shoulder capsule? Did he lose a little at the plate, which is more than enough to send a 28 yo into serious decline in pro sports?
The QO was a bad idea, and only makes sense if the Mets are sensibly punting the next few years or have advance notice of Conforto’s intent to reject it. Normalize his BAbip for 2020 (to something not eighth, all-time) and he’s at best a 3 WAR player who hits .240 but whose OBP ensures he’s a competent regular. At worst, though, he reinjured the shoulder and is on his way out of the game.
Not impressed with either player……..
Both have their moments. Neither has displayed consistency at a high level. Syndergaard is like Waiting for Godot. Very similar to Strasburg of the Nationals – it’s always something. At least Strasburg had a few terrific years – Syndergaard had a few terrific 2-3 month stretches.
I’m beginning to think that the Mets do what the Padres did after Preller was hired – initially they went for it, signing FA’s and trading for veterans. In a few years it became obvious they weren’t real contenders. No one would take the outrageous contracts given to Myers and Hosmer. They had to go into a rebuild. Lindors’ contract will prove to be the same for the Mets. The 2 big pieces they have are deGrom and Alonso. If deGrom is physically healthy, I can see him wanting to get away from the chaos and play for a quality, contending organization. 34 years old next year – how long does he wait? Alonso is a competitor, he can’t be happy being the star player on a crummy team – with all sorts of craziness going on from the owner ands FO.
@Samuel Well said. The Mets window did slam shut, though. They went into the 2020-21 offseason with an affordable 40 WAR core, $100m to spend, and assets to trade for the right players. They completely bungled the major possibilities (when I heard they traded 20 years of team control of Giminez, Rosario, Wolf, and Greene for the right to pay Lindor $22m at a position they had covered throughout the organization, I nearly put my monitor through the window—when I heard they bid against themselves in order to pay him $341m… it’s just unbelievable stupidity) and hobbled the team for years to come.
Cohen’s crew actually made the farm worse, going from #20 to #22. The system has little depth. They won 77 games, lost 12 WAR to FA, and with likely arb awards have about $180m committed to an abysmal roster that’s all but unprojectable–the lack of anything like certainty reduces even a willingness to go to a $270m payroll mere foolishness. Imagine punting 2024 and 2025 by signing guys like Bryant to four or five year deals, watching them get old by those years just to try for it in 2022. Then deGrom suffers a small tear in his forearm, and you’ve just wrecked the team’s chances three, four, and five years from now for no reason at all.
What a sorry business. Shocking that Cohen still allows Alderson—who saddled him with the ridiculous Lindor deal—anywhere near the team.
Not a fan of the move. But overpay for both when the Mets need more guys getting on base and healthy arms. I am a fan of Thor, but not at this price.
I mean, getting on base is really where Conforto gets most of his value. Even in a down year his OBP was pretty good. Although perhaps that was your point?
Mets and Conforto both need to move on from each other.
Agreed. There’s very little point in signing a corner OFer with mediocre defense to a multiyear deal when the Mets won’t be contending until 2025 at the earliest. What should they do, really, even if Conforto had put up a respectable 2-3 WAR season in 2021? Sign a 29 yo who will be a 32 yo statue the next time the Mets contend to a 5/100m deal this offseason?
With Lindor dragging down the team the margin is a lot thinner than it otherwise would have been, The Mets can probably survive if Lindor can put up five 3-WAR seasons from 2022 through 2026, but paying $34.1m for those seasons trims the margin close. Add in Cano’s 20m in 2022 and 2023, add in that deGrom is unlikely to opt-out now and they’ve got his unpredictability on the payroll for about 34m a year as well in both those seasons, and the margin’s entirely gone. And then some.
You obviously don’t like Conforto and are coming up with every reason under the sun why he shouldn’t come back. The funniest is that he’s in decline at 28.