The greatest rival of the New York Mets might be the Philadelphia Phillies. Although the teams have rarely been good at the same time, they are geographically close and many parts of New Jersey have neighbors fighting for their love of one team or the other.
The rivalry between Mets and Phillies fans is tense enough that they can’t even agree to hate the New York Yankees together.
This winter, the Mets are going to lose several players in free agency—for better or worse. The Phillies are actually logical landing spots for a couple of the remaining free agents. I wouldn’t say we should expect any of them to end up in Philadelphia. Instead, let’s just suspect it.
Michael Conforto could shed his Mets colors for Phillies red
What business do the Phillies have signing Michael Conforto? The longtime Mets outfielder has been primarily a right fielder in recent seasons. With Bryce Harper signed through something like the year 3000, the Phillies have no real need to add a right fielder.
Let’s not limit Conforto so much. He has played all of the outfield positions. It wasn’t even until 2018 when right field became his primary spot. As recently as 2018, he was still playing a lot of left field: a position he actually has some better numbers at defensively.
It’s not a leap to expect the Phillies to sign Conforto, stick it to the Mets, and put him in the other corner spot opposite of Harper. They desperately need outfield help. As a guy who has excelled playing in Philadelphia, the ballpark down there could make the signing look even better.
The Phillies already successfully plucked Zack Wheeler out of free agency when the Mets let him leave. Along with Harper and Wheeler, Conforto could be the next NL East rival to turn on his former ball club and join up with the perpetually .500 Phillies squads.