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New York Mets: Ranking the top four extension candidates

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 02: Michael Conforto #30 of the New York Mets gets ready to bat against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 2, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 02: Michael Conforto #30 of the New York Mets gets ready to bat against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 2, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 08: Michael Conforto #30 of the New York Mets at bat against the Baltimore Orioles at Citi Field on September 08, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

After signing Francisco Lindor to an extension, the Mets should turn their attention to their homegrown, all-star right fielder

The Michael-Conforto-extension rumors were swirling even before Steve Cohen bought the team, but now that their pockets are deeper, the Mets should open up the bank to secure him. There’s been speculation as to whether or not Conforto would be open to an extension seeing as how he is a Scott Boras client and the mega agent generally pushes for his players to test the open market. Although, it was reported in December that Conforto is wanting to stay in New York long term.

Since bursting onto the scene in 2015, Conforto has been both adored by fans and feared by opposing teams. Since his rookie season, the right fielder boasts the 15th best fWAR (16) and wRC+ (128) amongst qualified outfielders. While also providing stable defense in right field, Conforto has emerged as a top outfielder in the league and should be compensated as such. In a pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Conforto put up a .322/.417/.927 slash line, which was the best such line in his career to date.

While streakiness has been one of the very few critiques of his career, Conforto has consistently improved since he started playing full time. With his home run total increasing in every full season since 2017 (27, 28 & 33) the Mets have benefitted from his power from the left side. One thing that was a noticeable improvement in 2020 was his ability to hit lefties. Conforto had a career-high .284 average against southpaws, which is a huge improvement and has made him an even more lethal hitter.

With the consistent growth of Conforto as a hitter, the Mets have very suddenly constructed a lineup that could compete to be the league’s most prolific. If the Mets truly want to compete year in and year out, a contract extension that ensures Conforto is manning right field for the long haul would give them an opportunity to win a World Series not only next year but in the seasons to come.

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