Mets: Is J.T. Realmuto or Michael Conforto a bigger priority this offseason?
Re-signing Michael Conforto to a long term deal
The New York Mets currently have a superstar in their own right in outfielder Michael Conforto who has broken out in a big way during the abbreviated 2020 season. While that is certainly the good news, the concerning news is Conforto will be approaching free agency next offseason with no deal yet in sight.
One reason a potential deal may not have been discussed between both parties yet could be very well due to the sale of the organization. This offseason, however, that should all be settled, and possibly a window for negotiation will arise.
We also can’t forget that Conforto is represented by hotshot agent Scott Boras and as many know around the game of baseball, Boras’ clients usually all hit the free-agent market and rarely work out extensions with their current teams. This is going to certainly be a challenging negotiation process for the Mets to lock up Conforto long term.
However, it can be argued that aside from pitcher Jacob deGrom, there may not be a more valuable player on the Mets current roster right now than Michael Conforto. Conforto’s new ability to crush left-handed pitching seems to have taken his offensive game to a whole other level, and we can’t deny the defense he has displayed, especially with the potential catch of the year he made, earlier this season.
If the Mets are a playoff team, there is no doubt Michael Conforto would be in the National League MVP discussion with his play this season. There simply haven’t been many other players having the type of season and impact that Conforto has had with the Mets this season.
The Mets will create a giant offensive and defensive void in the outfield with the loss of the former All-Star outfielder. Many fans and the press may question ownership if the Mets let their homegrown star walk next offseason. It’s certainly an uncomfortable position that Steve Cohen may not want to find himself in if a deal is unable to be reached.
It will be imperative that the Mets lock up Michael Conforto long term whether it is this offseason or next. Conforto is the type of player that big market teams do not let go, especially when the ballclub is currently in the middle of a window of opportunity to win now.
I don’t believe Boras will try to make Conforto the highest-paid outfielder in baseball but he certainly will want Conforto to make around top-five outfielder money. I could see an annual average value asking price of around $25-$28 million a year to lock Conforto up long term based on his current season and continued upside.