Most of the New York Mets free agent buzz has been about how many players hope to or expect to return in 2022. Two of the biggest free agents-to-be, Michael Conforto and Marcus Stroman, are outliers from the rest. While each has expressed interest in remaining with the Mets, they also seem to have accepted other possibilities.
Many fans are hoping one or both of these players end up re-signed this offseason. However, it’s feeling more like they will be resigned to the fact that this 2021 season is their last in blue and orange.
Mets free agents Michael Conforto and Marcus Stroman already looking elsewhere
With Conforto, there’s still the qualifying offer process to get through. Conforto is expected to receive and turn it down. This leaves him available to hit the open market where he should still get a decent contract even after such a poor year.
The free agent market for outfielders is a weak one. Thought that the 2021 season might have been a mulligan for Conforto on a club with plenty of missed putts, someone should come calling with some fat cash.
Conforto was emotional in the Mets’ final series at Citi Field. A lack of extension talks in the preseason seemed to drive home to him the reality that this is the end. Could it be that no certainty with his future brought him to the fifth stage of free agency (acceptance) much easier than some others?
Stroman is a much different free agent case. He’s actually coming off of a brilliant season with the Mets. He’ll easily be one of the top starting pitchers on the open market. After producing so well for the Mets in 2021, a case could be made that with his age he’s also the best available choice for teams looking to spend.
Stroman hasn’t been nearly as emotional as Conforto but that’s also because he hasn’t spent his entire career with the organization. He has changed teams before. So when he openly discussed the possibility of signing with the Chicago Cubs in recent days, it seemed to be an advancement on his future talks in free agency.
For what it’s worth, Jeurys Familia also seems prepared to depart from Flushing. Via his Instagram, the longtime Mets reliever who only briefly departed at the end of 2018 shared a nice “thank you” to the fans. We can add him in as a third man ready to look for a new employer in 2022.
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Each of these players could have a big role with the Mets in 2022. However, with Conforto’s acceptance of an end to his reign in Flushing and Stroman already eyeing other possibilities, it’s not an outrageous leap to expect both to be gone.