The New York Mets have a full outfield with the recent additions of Starling Marte and Mark Canha, so it doesn’t appear that Michael Conforto will be returning to Queens.The Phillies have already been rumored to have interest in Conforto’s services, and now, another NL East foe may be in the mix.
The Miami Marlins have had discussions with former Met Michael Conforto, according to reports.
They signed former-Brewer Avisail Garcia before the lockout started. They’ve also been linked to other outfielders this winter, including Nick Castellanos, Starling Marte, and Eddie Rosario, so they've clearly identified the outfield as an area of need.
If the season were to start today, the Marlins outfield would feature Garcia in right, Bryan de la Cruz in center, and Jesus Sanchez in left. They DFA’d Lewis Brinson prior to the lockout, which was a long-time coming due to his underperformance offensively.
Like Conforto, Garcia is primarily a right fielder. Conforto has played all three outfield positions in the past, but he really belongs in one of the corner spots. Garcia has played all three as well, and surprisingly, Marlins GM Kim Ng believes he could be an everyday center fielder if needed.
While I wound't enjoy Conforto going to an up-and-coming division rival, I think it’s a good fit for him. The Marlins are a very young team, so Conforto would instantly be one of the most experienced players in that locker room and a leader in that clubhouse. He could be a great role model to Jesus Sanchez and some of the younger players. He slots into the middle of that lineup with Garcia, and he’ll be fine defensively in either corner.
Look for the Marlins to be aggressive in the outfield market after the lockout. Since they've been tied to basically every outfielder available, I'd expect them to ink one before the season starts.