Free agent outfielder Michael Conforto “is on [the Rockies’] list of possible free agents,” The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders hears from sources inside the Rox organization. Conforto joins Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber as prominent outfield-capable names Colorado has been linked to since the start of the offseason, as the Rockies were known to be looking for some more pop in the lineup.
The 2015-20 version of Conforto would certainly fit that description, as the former All-Star hit .259/.358/.484 with 118 homers over that six-season run with the Mets. Last year, however, Conforto was far less effective at the plate, hitting a modest .232/.344/.384 with 14 homers over 479 PA while also missing about five weeks of action due to a strained hamstring.
Apart from a dropoff in barrels and barrel rate, there wasn’t much difference in Conforto’s 2021 season from his 2015-20 seasons, from a Statcast perspective. His .322 wOBA was much lower than his above-average .350 xwOBA, so Conforto might have simply had a hard-luck season at the worst possible time as he was about to enter the free agent market.
A move to a more hitter-friendly ballpark like Coors Field might spark a revival in Conforto’s numbers, though it remains to be seen exactly what his down year will cost him on the open market. Saunders suggests that the Rockies would be open to inking Conforto to three or four years, yet it isn’t clear whether or not Conforto would necessarily want that type of longer commitment (at what would surely be less than top dollar) if he views 2021 as an aberration. MLBTR projected that Conforto would take just a one-year pillow contract in order to re-establish himself and then test free agency again next winter, and Saunders writes that some executives around baseball feel the outfielder might indeed take this path.
The other wrinkle involved in this scenario is the draft pick compensation attached to Conforto, since he rejected the Mets’ qualifying offer. If Conforto is only looking for a one-year deal, some teams may not be willing to give up a pick just for one season of his services — especially since the 2022 season now may be shortened due to the lockout. While Conforto’s former teammate Noah Syndergaard landed a one-year deal from the Angels despite also rejecting a QO, it can argued that Syndergaard’s scenario was different in many respects.
Syndergaard is coming off essentially two lost seasons due to Tommy John surgery and wasn’t in great position for a longer-term deal, and an Angels team desperate for pitching felt giving up the pick was a risk worth taking if Syndergaard can help them finally end their playoff drought. While the Rockies seemingly always think they’re closer to contention than they actually are, the club still faces a lot of competition within the NL West alone, to say nothing of the rest of the National League (even if more postseason spots are available).
Signing Conforto to a one-year deal and surrendering a draft pick in order to make a push in 2022 alone doesn’t seem too realistic, though the Rox might also feel they have something of a bonus pick to work with since Trevor Story is also a QO free agent. Since the Rockies are a team that receives revenue-sharing funds, their compensatory pick for Story would fall just after the draft’s first round, assuming Story signed for more than $50MM. Signing a QO free agent would cost Colorado its third-highest pick of the draft, for comparison’s sake.
The Rockies have plenty of room for Conforto in their outfield, as he could slot into either corner spot and even play center field in a pinch (though not on a consistent basis). An already-inconsistent Colorado lineup will now be losing Story, and the outfield has been seen as a natural spot to add a big bat to the mix. Charlie Blackmon will continue to get some time in right field, but could also get some DH time to accommodate Conforto if he is moved between both corner spots.
Over a dozen teams had some initial interest in Conforto at the start of the offseason, though only the Marlins and now the Rockies are the only known teams linked to the 29-year-old. It isn’t clear whether or not Miami could still be in the running, as the Fish already signed Avisail Garcia, and recent reports (and the sudden departure of Derek Jeter from the organization) have hinted that the club might not be willing to spend much more in the wake of the lockout.
To do what? The owner of the Rockies is one of the main guys who’s destroying baseball.
How do other than overpaying for players they absolutely don’t need especially when the player has a draft pick attached to him. And yes he’ll obviously still will have a draft pick attached to him after the new cba is signed because it will be stupid for all the players who signed prior with a pick attached and then change the rule half way thru the offseason.
Another left handed hitting OF…. Exactly what they need and at the cost of a draft pick and salary space they don’t have. Genius idea in Colorado….again.
Someone giving a job opportunity for a person to play a game, while paying well above cost of living, is destroying baseball? Okay. I guess sometimes it really is that simple.
No one is stopping these players from playing elsewhere. Your blaming one man, for another man’s choice.
DO NOT EVER sign a former Met. They will bring the Queens curse with them.
Travis d’Arnaud won a ring with the Braves last year and Justin Turner won a ring with the Dodgers in 2020. Both have performed better since leaving the Mets. Daniel Murphy became a better player as well. Those are only the most recent examples.
Going along with the same narrative, Zack Wheeler put up ace numbers since leaving the Mets.
Murphy wasn’t that good in Denver. The only former Met that was really bad for the Rockies was Mike Hampton, and that was mainly due to his contract more than his performance
Actually Murphy became a better player with the Mets… and it continued with the nats
Let me rephrase…
DO NOT EVER sign a player who most recently played for the Mets. d’Arnaud did not win a title in LA or Tampa Bay. Also, the Dodgers won a FAKE “championship” with Turner and the Phillies have not reached the postseason with Wheeler.
Just go back to giving us cool new expansion team names, the rest of your comments are trash
Lmao dude-don’t rephrase-just don’t phrase at all. Your point quickly became
The Mets have been trash in recent years. My comments are simply a painful truth for their fans.
d’Arnaud literally had one AB for the Dodgers lmao. Don’t think they ever thought of him as the missing piece to a World Series champion team
Let me move these goalposts.
True but Tampa didn’t win either. Maybe the curse goes away after one year.
When are the Mets moving to the great city of Rochester? You seem to know a lot about us so you must be a big fan
Oh the Rockies are pretty familiar with curses, thank you. Maybe they’ll cancel each other out.
Yankees signed two of them and it kind of worked out alright….. Granted, they also stopped doing cocaine when they left the Mets.
Strawberry & who??
Beavis was the Smart One
Yeah 48 team….bc they have alllll sucked. Just look at these players off the top of my head. All are 2021 stats unless marked.
Zach Wheeler (PHI): 2nd in CY
Travis d’Arnaud (ATL): Great playoff run w ‘ship.
Colin McHugh (TB): 256 ERA+
Steve Matz (TOR): 115 ERA+
Ollie Perez (CLE): 220 ERA+ (2020)
Justin Turner (LAD): 136 OPS+ since joining LAD.
Frankly, Mets players seem to player BETTER after leaving, so your quip about ex-Mets sucking is…..far off base.
Lee Mazzilli for HOF
Jay Payton was pretty good over there.
48-team MLB: You’re an idiot.
Conforto is a good bounce-back candidate even without a Coors lift. I suspect he’ll get offer elsewhere.
The Rockies just have no idea what they are doing.
they are top 5 worst franchise in all major NA leagues.
It’s sad because they have a great fanbase who deserves so much better
The Rockies spend some money.
This is what spending money and having no direction looks like as a franchise. Constant mediocrity
See Desmond, Ian…
I dunno. They were top 3 in baseball last year in home record, and top 5 or 6 in attendance. Fans seem pretty happy; at least they keep coming. They play an exciting, high scoring kind of game, at least at home, and pull in lots of gate. Depends on your definition of success I guess. Not everyone involved in professional sports is obsessed with winning championships, and with the Dodgers and Giants in their division they’re well aware it’s pretty unlikely anyway.
So they should make terrible decisions that will negatively affect their future success because the dodgers are good now?
They are not one of the five worst franchises in MLB lets alone all pro sports. Frequently mediocre is a very fair description, but there are more than five other teams not meeting that threshold.
I would love to see Jorge Soler at Coors Field. He and Blackmon can share the DH and LF duties. And keep Tapia.
They need Pitching, big time! That air in Colorado straightens out breaking balls. So, it’s extra difficult for them to have even decent pitching. Alotta pitchers refuse to sign there.
They need to clone Hideo Nomo.
desert, they have good pitching now. It’s their hitting that sucks.
In terms of how the team is being run right now, especially in putting together a roster, they’re clearly the worst team in MLB. Any other teams that are running out an arguably worse lineup are at least developing prospects. The Rockies just keep playing bad ballplayers without the excuse that they’re rebuilding; they just don’t seem to understand who’s good and who isn’t.
No, they believe they are successful now.
Coors is actually a fair park for right handed pull hitters like Soler. Where the HR’s jump up is for lefty fly ball hitters.
Just for the record, the Rockies’ three rookie level teams, low A, AND high A teams all won their leagues or finished second, and had a 650 or something cumulative winning percentage. The kids are coming. They’re just a few years away. Their minor league ranking will go due north steadily now.
Their system is ranked 23 by Kiley McDaniel, that’s not real great.
They’re bad, but I would not put them as a Top 5 worst franchise in NA sports. It’s an interesting discussion. Pirates and Marlins are worse and that’s just in baseball and you could make a strong argument for the Orioles as well. In the NBA, my Knicks and the Kings lap the field.
The NFL has a bonanza of poorly run teams: my Giants, the Jets, Texans, Jaguars, WFT, Bears, and Lions are all horribly run. I don’t know much about hockey, but I suspect there’s a few teams in the NHL worse than the Rockies.
Let me put it this way (sort of arbitrary numbering here aside from the Knicks):
That’s ten teams, not even including the NHL (or garbage like the Orioles). Who are you bumping for the Rockies?
Rockies have made the playoffs in 5 of their 28 seasons, with no championships.
They consistently have top 10 attendance sometimes top 5. Not sure how you could suggest marlins are worse run, they have a small fan base, and have won 2 championships in the last 25 years while spending next to know money.
In terms of fan base support, available funds, rockies are right up there with the worst run franchises. Look at their head scratching moves from last year as all the proof you need.
Knicks I’ll give you, although they did make the playoffs last year.
I’d put the kings up there but I’d put marlins, pirates, giants , Texans further back. It’s all subjective at the end of the day. But most of the teams you listed above don’t have the combination of premier destination, strong fanbase and available funds that the Rockies have.
Mariners are in there.
Mariners have a good team and a great farm and extreme payroll flexibility, they are a few moves away from being the team to beat for the next 5 years
@rct, if you’re speaking to modern day, I’d go along with the list, with maybe a couple of swaps (Coyotes of hockey for example). If not recent, I’m not sure the Giants and Texans belong. Giants just happen to be going through a bad stretch. Steelers had done so in the 80’s, but still solid within. Texans as well – they’ve done relatively well with the exception of the last couple of years, but every franchise goes through some level of basement dwelling. I’d consider the Browns to join the list – no matter how many stars they acquire, they still can’t get out of their own way. The other, though nothing like those on the list…the Cowboys. They may win during the season, but they’ve successfully been horrible in the playoffs and much is attributed to Jones taking over as GM. 25+ years and counting. Tons of talent, but nada. The let down for fans is extraordinary.
The Senators (Ottawa) have to be on that list. And of course the Coyotes, who can’t even remember to pay their stadium lease and are about to be kicked out of town.
That describes lots of teams. It’s hard not to have a great farm once in a while when you pick that high. But most of those great prospects will graduate into being decent major leaguers (see Padres, San Diego) not stars.
Baltimore Orioles are number 1 you think?
I like the fit. Conforto would become an annual 30 HR player in Coors.
Any above average player would be for far less than 20 mil conforto thinks he’s worth. 30 hrs isn’t as valuable as it used to be because there’s like 100 guys able to hit 30 depending on what baseball mlb wants to use.
I don’t know how these Conforto articles keep coming out with no mention of his defense.
He went from a guy who was okay in cf in 2019 to a lower tier defender in rf in 2021.
This was my thought when I got to the part talking about how he can cover CF part time…I’m not sure I’d want to see that in Coors’ huge OF.
Hope the Rockies enjoy having the least clutch player in the whole National League on their roster. Most of his homeruns are hit when the Mets were up or down by 8 runs. If you ever need a hit when you have a guy on second he strikes out
Newsflash; Conforto, along with his greedy fellow players, aren’t playing anywhere this year. It’s for the “good of the game” and it’s because “they have to get this CBA right” according to brainiacs Scherzer & Trout.
Great fit. If conforto stays healthy he could pop off at Coors on a team affordable one year prove it deal and then really cash in
They’ll sign him and the give him away, like Arenado.