Let's not talk about Michael Conforto returning next season

Miami Marlins v New York Mets
Miami Marlins v New York Mets / Mike Stobe/GettyImages

Michael Conforto will not play baseball in 2022. The longtime New York Mets right fielder turned down the qualifying offer from the club then went all offseason without getting signed.

His agent, Scott Boras, then revealed close to Opening Day that his client had suffered a shoulder injury. There was nothing to indicate that Conforto would actually remain injured at the time. However, with no deal in place and a bleak outlook for his 2022 future, Conforto ended up getting shoulder surgery and will have to sit out the entire 2022 campaign.

It’s a horrible story for Conforto and hopefully, he’s able to bounce back next year in what will definitely be a “prove it” deal. However, Mets fans should 100% not expect it to take place in Flushing.

Mets fans should accept Michael Conforto will not play his 2023 campaign in Queens

Well, what about Conforto replacing Brandon Nimmo? Nimmo is a free agent after this season and a fellow client of Boras’. If Nimmo walks, the Mets will have an opening in the outfield.

As enticing as it may be, Conforto is not going to replace Nimmo for the simple fact that Nimmo did not replace Conforto. The Mets have gone a different direction with their depth chart. Although it seemed as if they signed Starling Marte to take over center field duties, Nimmo has received most of the playing time at the position. Marte has slotted in as the starting right fielder more often than not even in Nimmo’s absence.

The Mets could always try to squeeze Conforto onto the roster even on a team without Nimmo on it. There’s no rule against moving Marte to center field next year. It just doesn’t seem like the plan the front office has. This regime seems more focused on playing guys at positions they can handle. It’s why we’re not seeing J.D. Davis pick up a glove often. Dominic Smith isn’t playing anywhere other than first base or DH.

Sure, the Mets can find a way to add Conforto especially if he’s on a lesser one-year contract. But why? Other than some too-soon nostalgia, there will be better options for the Mets to explore. The Mets can’t toy around with giving major roster spots to players whose health will be questionable. That’s what a team with no expectations will have. The Mets, regardless of how this year goes, will have high aspirations for the foreseeable future.

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