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NY Mets: A strong finish changes the story for Michael Conforto

Aug 31, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an RBI single during the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 31, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an RBI single during the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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Michael Conforto is hardly pushing his way toward a $100+ million contract. However, a strong finish from the New York Mets right fielder does change everything for his free agent case.

In the last 365 days, Conforto has gone from must-extend to guaranteed qualifying offer candidate to someone we might all be cool seeing walk away with some well wishes. The season has been rougher on him than any other longtime Mets player. Injured and unproductive, it seems like Conforto might never climb out of the hole he dug himself into.

Recently, things have turned around for the best. Conforto has three-game winning home runs and a walk-off hit in the last week. A man often criticized for not being clutch has been so in the final days of August. It won’t completely rewrite the story of his 2021 season but it’s going to make whatever end he has to the season feel a little sweeter.

Mets right fielder Michael Conforto has woken up

I gained a new appreciation for Conforto this week and it had nothing to do with his abilities on the field. To be frank, I have always found him to be an above-average outfielder but nothing more. He’s the kind of guy you can rely on to put up B+ numbers at best while never quite reaching the elite class of A-student outfielders.

Conforto’s time with the Mets has been at the level few players in franchise history have reached. It has also included some sunken moments where you’d swear he was just a guy the team pulled off the street and handed a jersey to.

Streaky? Yes. Productive? Never a question.

The narrative with Conforto this year has been mostly negative but one constant has been his professionalism. He might understand Mets fans better than anyone else. It could have something to do with his nature or maybe it helped to have David Wright around when he was a wee rookie.

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Just because he doesn’t rattle any cages will not equate to a new contract or big money. Conforto needs to play well in order to get anything close to the generational wealth everyone suspected he was in line for months ago. A poorly timed career-worst year got in the way. With just a month to go, how he finishes does matter. At the very least, his psyche could it.

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