Former New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto is coming off a down year in 2021, but he is still going to be highly sought after given his track record and youth. Conforto officially rejected the Mets’ qualifying offer on Monday evening, November 8th. While I would love to see him stay in New York, it seems increasingly likely that he will leave in free agency.
Just a day before, Ken Davidoff released his free agent predictions. Davidoff predicts that Conforto will have a reunion with former hitting coach Kevin Long on a six-year, $140 million deal in Philadelphia.
Could Michael Conforto really leave the Mets for the Phillies?
If this happens – if the Mets let this happen – this would be the second free agent that left New York in the prime of his career to sign with our division rival Phillies. Zack Wheeler signed with them in the 2019-20 offseason.
How did that work out? Wheeler has a 2.82 ERA in two seasons with the Phillies. In 284.1 innings pitched, he gave up 236 hits, 89 earned runs, 62 walks, and struck out 300 batters. He has an ERA+ of 150 and a WAR of 9.3 Most of those numbers came this season, given that last year was shortened due to COVID-19. He is a finalist for the 2021 Cy Young Award.
Needless to say, the Mets could’ve used Wheeler’s arm the last two years, as well as the next three. Given that Conforto has a career .954 OPS in Citizens Bank Park, the Mets could have similar regrets if he signs there. His 15 homers, 12 doubles, 35 runs scored, and 42 RBI’s in CBP are all his most in any ballpark not named Citi Field.
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The bottom line is, the Mets need to do everything in their power to prevent Conforto from going to the Phillies. Not only would the Mets be losing a great player and clubhouse guy, but the Phillies would be gaining him. The Phillies already have a good lineup featuring Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins, Jean Segura, and Andrew McCutchen. Add Conforto to that mix, and that’s a long, dangerous lineup that will be a thorn in the Mets’ side for years to come.