It’s no surprise to see New York Mets rumors about the desire of owner Steve Cohen to add more to this team’s offense. Two of the names mentioned are Michael Conforto and J.D. Martinez.
Mets fans know Conforto well from his career with the team from 2015-2021. Martinez is another familiar name. He was much-talked about at last year’s trade deadline as a potential DH upgrade.
Both very much available and fits for the Mets in two different ways, who should the team pursue harder?
NY Mets rumors: Pitting Michael Conforto against J.D. Martinez
Michael Conforto is not as great of a fit for the Mets roster at the moment as he would have been if the team lost Brandon Nimmo. He would have naturally become the team’s starting right fielder again with Starling Marte moving to center fielder. Now, the outfield is kind of crowded. Short of trading Mark Canha benching someone, there aren’t 500 plate appearances for Conforto to find as a starting outfielder.
What Conforto does have working for him is his age and our familiarity with him. We know Conforto can hit for power even when some of his other numbers are down. If there are going to be Mets rumors about them searching for a power hitter, the team could do worse than him.
Against J.D. Martinez, Conforto’s biggest advantage might be that he can play a position. Signing Martinez is to fill the DH spot. Unless they are trading Daniel Vogelbach somewhere, the roster gets crowded very quickly. Martinez is better than the right-handed half of a Vogelbach platoon. He needs to be playing every day.
The concern about Martinez is his age and the sudden decrease in power last season. Martinez hit only 16 home runs, but sneakily ripped a career-high 43 doubles. He has definitely lost some distance in his power. He’s on the decline but he was an All-Star in every year with the Boston Red Sox except for 2020 when there was no Midsummer Classic.
The better fit for the Mets isn't overwhelming, but it is Martinez if they do deal Vogelbach. Swapping him for another team’s Colin Holderman would be the power move to make. The Mets can then explore some legitimate backup outfielder options or maybe a more versatile player to have on the bench.
On a two-year deal tops, Martinez is the guy to sign instead of Conforto. As productive as Conforto may still be, Martinez is fresher and fills something they were missing last year. Conforto could conceivably be a fit for the Mets with the team rotating through different DH options.
Neither is an awful choice to see appear in the latest Mets rumors. Who would you rather have?