Why Michael Conforto returning to the Mets might make more sense than you think

Sep 5, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto #30
Sep 5, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto #30 / Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets collapsed in the second half of the season and finished with a 77-85 record. They finished third in the National League East after spending most of the season in first. The Mets struggled all year at the plate, as veterans who they relied upon to produce in the past really struggled.

One of the more disappointing Mets if not the most disappointing was Michael Conforto. The 28 year old was entering the final year of his contract eyeing a big payday in the offseason either from the Mets or another organization. Had he produced like he had in the past, there is no doubt in my mind that the Mets would've already paid Conforto by now.

Last season he slashed .232/.344/.384 with 14 home runs and 55 RBI in 125 games played. Conforto missed extended time due to injury and just never appeared to be himself at the plate at all. At his best, Conforto is a 30+ home run guy who gets on base at a very high clip.

Conforto was coming off his best season in the bigs in the shortened 2020 season. He slashed .322/.412/.515 with nine home runs and 31 RBI in 54 games played. Small sample, but Conforto looked like a different hitter. He was using all fields and was hitting for power. Both Conforto and Dom Smith had monster 2020 seasons only to take massive steps back in 2021.

Once the Mets signed Starling Marte and Mark Canha, the book seemed closed on Michael Conforto's tenure with the Mets. That might not end up being the case.

With Conforto's struggles in mind, the Mets seemed to replace him by signing Starling Marte and Mark Canha to fill 2/3 of the Mets outfield. The other lock in the outfield is Brandon Nimmo. However, with news that there will be a DH, there is a brand new opening for Conforto.

On paper, it seems a little tricky. The Mets have J.D. Davis, and Dom Smith locked in as bench players right now. I think it's very likely that one or both of them are traded in exchange for some pitching depth.

The Mets also have Robinson Cano returning after missing all of the 2021 season due to his second failed PED test. I would love it if the Mets released Cano, but I don't see that happening right away. I also don't see the Mets not giving Cano a shot at regular at-bats somewhere, either at second base or DH, as he is set to make $48 million dollars in the next two seasons.

With that being said, the fit for Conforto is there. If the Mets want to win, I don't think the lineup is good enough as constructed. Adding Conforto to the mix when he won't have the pressure of playing on the final year of his contract is enticing to me. Conforto is a great leader and a great player when right.

Conforto would probably come at a discounted price as players look to get deals done once the lockout finally ends and since he is coming off of a down year. Conforto has proven that he's at least a 120 WRC+ hitter which is very good and would provide a massive boost for this lineup.

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